Global Teamwork Blog

Apr 23
  • core-modes-of-global-teamwork

Core Modes of Global Teamwork

by Frank Dirks

Last week, we started exploring the 'Core elements of Global Teamwork'. We introduced the first of three tools that we have designed for navigating the 'teamwork landscape'. This first tool is called the 'teamwork compass'. It uses the 'core aspects of teamwork' (connection, communication, contribution and coordination) to enhance the development process of your (global) team.

Today, we present our second tool. We call it the 'teamwork map'. We have created this map with the second group of elements - the 'core modes of teamwork' - in mind. These 'core modes' are distinct teamwork processes that we experience in our everyday lives. They are essentially the 'typical ways in which people operate together'. We call the map that we have created using these 'core modes of teamwork' the 'teamwork map'.

The purpose of this map is to give you an overview of the different 'modes of teamwork' encountered when you work with other people on a local and global basis. We hope that it helps you recognise these typical 'methods' and that it demonstrates to you how your own team operates in different situations.

The 'core modes of teamwork' are:

Conserving - Actions of team members are based on 'reflexes and instincts' in order to 'survive and meet primary needs'.

Copying - Actions of team-members are based on 'rituals, customs and traditions' in order to 'find safety, similarity and harmony'.

Compelling - Actions of team-members are based on 'domination, control and power' in order to 'get respect, status and move up in the hierarchy'.

Conforming - Actions of team-members are based on “rules, duties and roles” in order to “maintain stability, order and security”

Competing - Actions of team-members are based on “goals, options and opportunities” in order to “win, gain an advantage and be successful”

Cooperating - Actions of team-members are based on 'sharing and mutual gain' in order to 'feel useful and experience a sense of community'.

Comprehending - Actions of team-members are based on 'knowledge, intuition, flexibility and functionality' in order to 'innovate, explore complex situations and learn what works best'.

Complementing - Actions of team-members are based on 'much interest in others' in order to 'create sustainable solutions and incorporate diversity'.

Let’s be honest. Most of us have an affinity with one or more of these 'core modes of teamwork' and feel a degree of opposition to other modes. But remember that the 'core modes of teamwork' are neither good nor bad and neither effective nor ineffective. They are just the 'ways in which human beings function together'. The challenge is to activate the right mode under the right circumstances. The more smoothly your team is able to switch between these modes, the more effective it will be in meeting the challenges facing it, while still realising its local and global objectives.

We realise that this is just a brief overview of the 'teamwork landscape'. We hope that you have found it interesting and that you stay tuned for our next post about the 'core assets of teamwork'.

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