We read in the September 6 issue of Business Week that researchers form INSEAD and MIT have discovered that the “traditional” metrics of team performance—how well team members get along, communicate, team spirit, etc. —are actually not all that useful The new research indicates that teams with excellent internal metrics such as these often fail, and that external metrics—such as how well the teams communicate with other groups, how well aligned the team’s goals are with their management’s, etc.—are actually a better measure of success.
Wow! If he were still alive, we might nominate this research for one of Senator William Proxmire’s Golden Fleece Awards. Now, to be fair, when the emperor has no clothes, when management seems to think that team building exercises an effective team will make, some one—usually an academic—has to actually do the research and determine that yes, in accordance with all life experience, common sense, and what we all learned in Management 101, “liking each other” is not a results strategy. By contrast, having goals and strategies and tactics to achieve these goals, all aligned with the reality of the external world, all managed to metrics, and all changed in real time based on feedback from the real world, is. In other words, having a stable, adaptive management process functioning is!
But we knew this all along, didn’t we?