Is there more than one type of team?

As we all know, teams can operate and function in a number of different ways. Researchers have suggested that it’s the amount of time teams allocate to the planning and implementation phases of a task determines the type of team they are. We see this played out clearly in, (amongst others), our Krypton Maze activity where teams are presented with short team tasks and have around 20minutes to complete. This ensures that they will revert to type rather than attempt to mask their behaviour.

So what types of teams are there?

The first type are described as Fragmented Teams. In this type, we tend to see autocratic leadership and/or small pockets of individuals who often dictate the group decision making process.

Secondly, there are Divergent Teams. Members in this team tend to be overly cautious and will consider a number of possible options. This caution can lead to a slow decision making process and it will sometimes be resolved with a voting process. This may lead to little commitment to the plan however.

A third type is labeled Cohesive Teams. They tend to have a democratic and cooperative atmosphere where everyone is involved. They work through any conflict rather than ignore it and get satisfaction from completing the task.

Is that it?

Not really, if we now look at how multiple teams function, we will see another three descriptions.

The Competitive Team – this type is more concerned with it’s own success than the overall success of the organisation. There tends to be a lack of focus on planning and more of a focus on winning! This results in little assessment of other teams requirements in terms of working together.

The Non-interactive Team – again, there is an inner focus. However, there is a degree of planning, but without due consideration for the organisations ‘bigger picture‘ or needs of other teams. The outcome of this may be that the planning is minimally effective.

The Cooperative Team – this team shares a common goal of completing projects together with other teams. During the planning phase in this team, a large amount of time is spent on how the different teams will work together in order to accomplish goals effectively and efficiently.

What type of team do you see yourselves in?


10 Talks Worth Watching! have put together an article called 10 TED Talks Every Team Should Watch with useful theories and information for teams. The speakers discuss a whole range of different themes from the different character types that make up teams, the ways groups of people collaborate, the way we use language in the workplace and the way offices and places of work are organised. Examples include a teambuilding activity using just spaghetti, string, tape and a marshmallow and comparisons to the great ant colonies of the world.

We feel that listening to these speakers is useful because their messages could be relevant for many different teams. At Teambuilding Solutionsfacilitated team building event can help as part of a structured programme of team development whereby we work in conjunction with your team to overcome any issues. We can also be there to facilitate rewards for high performing teams too – a facilitated event is a way to help the high performers perform even better!