Workgroups vs. teams

Mark Sanborn

Mark Sanborn is an international bestselling author and noted authority on leadership, team building, customer service and change. In a discussion on a forum on the 'Net I read how Mark compares teams to workgroups. Was quoted from one of his books or his website (I don't know which).

On competition

Work groups tend to compete inwardly, with members competing against each other for favor, recognition, etc. High performing teams compete, but with those outside the organization.

On focus

Work groups tend to be task-oriented and characterized by members who follow their own personal agendas. High-performing teams are goal-oriented. Members work towards the achievement of the team goals and agenda, rather than pulling in different directions.

On style

Work groups tend to be autocratic and hierarchical in nature. Teams, on the other hand, tend to be participative and self-steering within the goals of the team.

On tolerance

Work groups tend to tolerate each other, while teams tend to enjoy each other. Differences in teams are welcome and encouraged, while in work groups, differences and disagreements are suppressed.

On risk

Work groups tend to avoid risk and maintain the status quo. High performing teams tend to accept risk.