Teams hold inescapable value for modern media

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A team with complementing strengths can build a businesses and a product that can take over a market. While the wrong team with a good product can fail spectacularly even with phenomenal funding.

(My Digital Media Entrepreneurship class is hammering this home at every opportunity.)

But it is a fact that, succeeding without a team structure in place in a business is getting harder and harder. Peter Honey said in Seven reasons why teams are more important than ever
without a team structure a company can’t respond quickly to new market changes and the employees can’t learn from one another. Especially in news organizations the value of these two qualities can’t be understated and it should be something we all should be striving to create.

My own experience has taught me if a team functions properly than the product will exceed anything a single individual could create. But there are many ways teams fail. Lack of commitment from the members, trying to compromise to the point when the product loses meaning and purpose or even flat out fighting.
A blog by Talent Dynamics breaks down some of the reasons teams dysfunction and they all seem to point to not identifying the strengths of the members and then creating an environment where those strengths can be exercised to the benefit of all.

One of the most epic team failures has to be Charlie Brown’s baseball team. Lucy can’t commit to being an outfielder. No one seems to learn anything and it’s hilarious to watch them lose over and over and over.

Charlie Brown's baseball team headed to a game.

Servant leadership and it’s tenants should naturally solve the problems of a dysfunctional team. If every member there is committed to serve the good of the whole rather than themselves than the conflict of too many directions or flaky commitment should be solved.

“Teams do not seek consensus; they seek the best answer.”
——-Jon R. Katzenbach & Douglas K. Smith, from The Wisdom of Teams

This quote challenges members of organizations to a deeper level of commitment to solutions. The “best answer” to a problem or a product may not not include your ideas and it may not be what you prefer. But when so many jobs are being lost in media companies, it shows recognizing and implementing an the “best answer” is key.

With the power of teams to solve problems and all the pitfalls laid out, the importance of selecting the best team members and creating an environment in which they can all contribute their strengths is shown to be vital.

But great companies, founded by teams like Google, that are out there designing new solutions, show synergy is achievable.

The founders of Google, Larry Page and Sergey Brin