William Dyer's Characteristics of Effective Teams
When he was dean of Brigham Young University's Graduate School of Management, William Dyer wrote the pioneering text on team building, appropriately enough called Team Building. The book is now in its fourth edition. From the beginning, Dyer cautioned against using teams for anything but team-oriented work. He also was wary of trying to do team building if leadership was halfhearted or skeptical about committing the time and resources needed to do it right.
Dyer and his associates did extensive research to identify the characteristics of effective teams. He proposed these characteristics could be used to diagnose team performance, to set improvement goals, and to design team-building sessions.
- Goals and values are clear, understood, and accepted by everyone.
- People understand their assignments and roles and how they contribute to the whole.
- The basic climate is one of trust and support among members.
- Communication is open and people willingly share information relevant to team goals.
- People can participate in making free and informed decisions.
- Everyone implements decisions with commitment.
- Team leaders are supportive of others and have high personal performance standards.
- Differences are recognized and handled, not ignored or brushed over lightly.
- Team structure and procedures are consistent with the tasks, goals, and people involved.