What forms of teamwork are there?

What forms of teamwork are there?

By Published On: 2. December 2023


Hey guys, have you ever wondered how many different types of teams there actually are and why it's so important? Well, in today's working world, there's simply no getting around the topic of teamwork. But don't worry, we're going to break it down a bit. Teamwork is not just about working together in a group - it's much more than that. It's about achieving common goals and can also be great for personal development. And the best thing? There are so many different team structures that there is something for every task and every type, from classic project teams to hyper-modern agile teams. So, let's delve deeper and find out which type of team suits you best and how you can get off to a flying start in this dynamic working environment.

Introduction to teamwork

So, guys, what exactly is this term "teamwork" that keeps popping up? Sure, working together in a group sounds easy at first. But there's a science behind how teams function, grow and achieve success. Before we dive into the different forms, it's important to understand what teamwork is and why it's so important today. So, grab a coffee, settle in and let's start with the basics.

Definition of teamwork

Teamwork is not just the simultaneous work of several people in one place. It is a complex interplay of communication, skills and personalities. Everyone contributes their strengths, and together the team achieves goals that would never be possible alone. In a good team, the sum is greater than its parts, you know? This creates a dynamic that puts lone fighters in the shade. Especially in a A working world that is constantly changingflexibility and adaptability are unthinkable without teamwork.

The importance of teamwork in the modern working world

It should be clear by now: without teamwork, things simply don't run smoothly. In our networked world, where projects are often global and the clock is ticking around the world, teams are the be-all and end-all. Companies rely on teamwork because the complexity of tasks is increasing. No individual can know or be able to do everything - but in a team, specialists can pool their expertise and create synergies.

Why else do you think agile working or scrum have become so widespread in recent years? Right, because they are perfect for dynamic projects and unpredictable markets. It's no longer just about getting the work done, but how it's done. The process and the people involved have become just as important as the actual product or service. And to take a slightly different perspective: Teamwork is also a benefit for us as individuals. We learn, we grow, we are more flexible and, quite honestly, it is often simply more fun working in a team.

However, we must not forget that teamwork also brings challenges. It is not always easy to reconcile different personalities and opinions. But this is precisely where a huge opportunity lies: because creative solutions and innovations emerge from these differences, from the friction and discussions. Teams bring together different perspectives, and this diversity of ideas can be crucial to surviving in the current competitive environment. For companies that want to develop further, teamwork is practically indispensable - to put it bluntly. If you want to find out more, take a look at this article from the Business Psychology Society an. They have summarized this very smartly.

But teamwork is not only important at work. Think of sports, volunteer projects or family organizations. People everywhere work in teams to achieve something. And teamwork is also becoming increasingly important at school or university. Because let's be honest: real life out there is also a big team game. So, whether you're working on things with others in the office, in the workshop or in your home office - the basics of good teamwork will always get you further.

Now you probably want to know more about the different team structures and their peculiarities. But before we look at traditional, agile or virtual teams, let's note that teamwork is the basis for all progress and innovation in our society. It shapes the way we work as well as the way we live - and that's something pretty exciting, don't you think?

Traditional team structures

Mates, we may live in a world full of start-ups and hip corporate cultures, but let's not forget that traditional team structures also have their place. Yes, you heard that right! Some things just don't change - and for good reason. The traditional approaches to teamwork are the tried and tested methods on which many companies still build their successes today. What makes them so special, you ask? Let's take a look at them.

Permanent teams

A permanent classic are the, well, permanent teams. These groups are together for the long term and usually work in clearly defined areas of the company. Here you can really get to know each other, build trust and work together in a really well-rehearsed way. You know exactly what you have in common. At times, it almost feels as if everyone blindly understands what the other is thinking. Pure thought transfer? No, just a well-rehearsed team!

But of course there are also challenges to overcome. Sometimes routine and routine creep in, so that new ideas and innovative solutions can fall by the wayside. But don't panic! If you notice that you're running out of steam, it can help to bring in a breath of fresh air. For example by Team building measures or through internal training to rekindle the fire. Because at the end of the day, permanent teams are a real pillar of the company.

Project teams

And then there are the project teams - the heroes of the time limit. These teams are set up to achieve specific goals or complete projects. They often consist of experts who have been specially selected for their tasks. They are usually super diverse in terms of skills and therefore ideal for complementing each other. Here you can really experience how what belongs together comes together.

Sounds like a party, doesn't it? And it is! However, the job can sometimes be quite challenging because time is often short and expectations are high. What's more, project teams usually only exist for as long as the project in question is running. This means you have to grow together quickly to form a powerful unit. So it may well be that you are still practising the ideal teamwork today and tomorrow you will be saying: "Ciao, it was nice working with you!" That's how fast-paced life can be! But hey, the advantage is that you learn a lot in such teams, which you can then use in future projects. If you need any more tips on what it's like, Being a project manageryou should check out this link.

But before you think that these old hands at teamwork are boring, let me tell you: These concepts are the basis on which the newer, trendy team structures are built. They are like the good old jeans that never go out of fashion. Sure, they are constantly being reinterpreted and stylishly adapted, but nothing works without them. It's exactly the same with traditional team structures. They may not seem as chic and modern as agile or virtual teams, but without them, teamwork would not be where it is today.

So, whether you're saving the world in a permanent team or working together as a project team for a limited time - without the stable roots of traditional team structures, we'd all be on shaky ground. Take a look at this article about Comparison of different team structures and take a look at how our working world plays with them and constantly reinterprets them. It is exciting to see how the tried and tested methods still have their place and are constantly evolving.

Now that we've shed light on traditional structures, in the next section we'll talk about the agility and dynamics of agile team structures. Spoiler: It's getting agile!

Agile team structures

Well, you team players! Are you ready to take a leap into the world of agility? There's pure movement here, so buckle up. Agile teams are like the Swiss Army Knives of work squads: flexible, dynamic and equipped for any situation. We live in an age of digitalization and rapid change, where rigid structures are more of a hindrance than a help. And this is exactly where agile teams come into play. They adapt, are fast and effective. In the following sections, we will dive into the universe of Scrum and Kanban teams. Two agile heavyweights that have redefined teamwork. Let's go!

Scrum teams

You know when projects get stuck because the path is too rigid? Scrum teams just laugh about it. They are committed to agility and work in short cycles, known as sprints, on manageable tasks. This allows them to remain adaptable and react quickly to changes. Ideal for complex projects where you only really notice how things are going while you are working.

One of the key factors for successful Scrum teams is a well thought-out distribution of roles. There is the Scrum Master, who ensures that the Scrum rules are adhered to. Then there is the product owner, who keeps an eye on the product vision and sets priorities. And, of course, the development team - the doers, the creative minds who turn ideas into results.

Another important aspect of Scrum is continuous reflection. After each sprint, everyone looks back together: What went well? What could be better? This "Inspect & Adapt" mechanism is invaluable because it allows the team to constantly improve.

If you need more detailed insights into how Scrum teams work and how they differ from other agile methods, then hop over to Atlassian's summary of Kanban vs Scrum. The boys and girls know what they're doing and explain it to you in a nutshell.

But, and we must not forget this, Scrum is not the panacea for every project or every team. It requires discipline, openness and commitment from everyone involved. Some companies find that such a change disrupts their usual processes too much - at least initially. Nevertheless, when it comes to innovation and speed, many swear by it.

Kanban teams

Now let's put on our Kanban glasses and take a look. Kanban originated in Japan and is the Zen counterpart to Scrum. Instead of sprints, there is a continuous flow. The team pulls pending tasks from the backlog when capacities are free and works through them. Like a sushi bar in rush hour - everything runs smoothly.

A central point of Kanban is the visualization of the workflow, usually on a board with columns such as "To Do", "In Progress" and "Done". This provides transparency and orientation, and everyone knows immediately what is going on. Prioritization is often represented by so-called swimlanes or markers. This allows you to keep an overview and intervene quickly if something gets stuck.

Compared to Scrum, Kanban has fewer strict rules or roles. This makes it a flexible method that can be integrated relatively easily into existing structures. And precisely because Kanban is so adaptable, many teams find it pleasant. More freedom often also means more peace and quiet and less stress. And if you want to find out more about the differences between Kanban and Scrum, take a look at what the experts from the EXPBERTE.de about it. They have broken everything down for you.

At the end of the day, each team has to decide for itself which agile method is the right one. In some situations it is Scrum with its structured and sprint-based approach, in others it is Kanban with its flexibility and focus on continuous flow. What is clear is that both methods help to make projects more effective and teams happier.

Well, friends of the sun, as you can see, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to agile working. But that's what makes these agile team structures so exciting. You can adapt them to your needs and your working environment. Whether you ultimately prefer Kanban boards or Scrum sprints - it's all about working together as a team and finding your own path to success. With this in mind, stay agile and open to new ideas - and become the agile ace in the team game!

Virtual teams

Hello folks, what's it like in the era of digitalization, where work no longer just takes place in the office? That's right, virtual teams are all the rage! In a world where working from home and flexible workplaces are becoming more and more normal, virtual teams are the answer to global project work and the need for flexibility. But what exactly is a virtual team and how do you take advantage of its benefits without falling foul of the challenges?

Characteristics of virtual teams

Virtual teams are teams that do not work in the same physical space. Communication mainly takes place via digital channels such as email, video conferencing and instant messaging. This type of teamwork allows people from all over the world to work together on projects, which is really brilliant!

Members of virtual teams often enjoy greater flexibility and independence. You can work from anywhere - whether it's your desk at home, the café around the corner or the beach (well, as long as the Wi-Fi works). But best of all, you can usually arrange your working hours to suit your lifestyle.

In a virtual team, there is no traditional office atmosphere, no spontaneous meetings at the coffee machine and no joint lunches. Instead, online meetings and virtual coffee breaks are on the agenda. It may seem strange at first, but over time virtual teams develop their own sense of togetherness and cohesion. Want to find out more about the peculiarities of virtual teams? Then take a look at the Four key features of virtual work that InCompany has put together.

Challenges and opportunities

Of course, working in virtual teams is not without its challenges. It can be tricky to really keep everyone on the same page. Especially when you consider that the team members may be in different time zones. Communication must therefore be on point, clear and structured - otherwise it's just chaos.

Another big issue is trust. Without daily personal interaction, it can be more difficult to build a strong relationship of trust. This means playing your cards straight and chatting about personal matters from time to time, not just job-related stuff. This is the only way to turn a group of lone wolves into a really good team.

On the other hand, virtual teams have the opportunity to really bring together the best talent, regardless of location. This can open up a lot of new perspectives and makes the team mega diverse. And it is precisely this diversity that can make the difference when it comes to creativity and problem-solving. If you want to learn more about the challenges of leading virtual teams, it's worth reading this article on the biggest challenges for virtual teams to check.

Of course, we must not underestimate the opportunities. Virtual teams can work super efficiently because they are often leaner - there is less bureaucracy and overhead. Virtual teams also offer a great opportunity for personal development, and who knows, maybe the global availability will open up completely new career opportunities!

To summarize: Virtual teams are a cool thing with unique features, opportunities and challenges. Sure, it's not all sunshine and rainbows. But if you master the challenges, virtual teams can be true powerhouses that revolutionize the way we work. No question, the virtual team spirit is alive and well - and it will continue to do so in our increasingly connected world!

Interdisciplinary teams

Hey guys, are you ready for a little trip into the world of interdisciplinary teams? This is where different specialist worlds come together and the result is usually - shall we say - pretty impressive! So, pack your curiosity, we're going to check out what makes this type of team so special and why they are essential for creativity and innovation in today's working world.

Composition and function

In an interdisciplinary team, people from a wide variety of fields come together to combine their expertise and approaches to solving problems. Engineers sit here with marketing people, designers brainstorm with IT specialists, and sales people exchange ideas with financial experts. You see the picture, right? It's like a big brain pool where everyone contributes their skills to work together on an idea.

This diversity of knowledge and experience leads to the development of solutions that might never have emerged from a single discipline. And that's also the highlight of the whole thing: the combination of different specialist knowledge often results in something completely new and innovative. Simply because you think outside the box and take inspiration from others.

But a functioning collaboration between all these bright minds is not always easy. It requires a lot of understanding for the perspectives of others, a strong sense of collaboration and a lot of flexibility. By the way, if you want to find out more about the composition and work of interdisciplinary teams, we recommend reading this article by Career Academy where the whole thing is explained very well.

Contribution to innovation

Let's be honest: the truly ground-breaking ideas rarely come from a bubble. Interdisciplinary teams are predestined to play the role of innovation driver because they bring the perfect mix of expertise and creativity to the table. This crossover of different specialist areas leads to a unique chemistry that provides the breeding ground for innovation.

Start-ups are a good example of this. They are often a source of great innovation, not least because of their interdisciplinary nature. It's not just the qualifications on paper that count here, but also the courage to take unconventional paths and question the rule "We've always done it this way". This is where the real added value of interdisciplinary teamwork becomes apparent: it's about achieving more together than the sum of the individual parts ever could. You can find out more about this topic in an exciting study on Interdisciplinary teams and their success factors from the Fraunhofer IAO.

Working in such a diverse team can sometimes be challenging when different ways of thinking collide. But it is precisely this confrontation with other approaches that can spur creativity massively. Of course, this can sometimes lead to friction, but it is precisely this that can ultimately contribute to real innovation.

In companies where speed and adaptability are key these days, teams like this are essential. Not only do they push product development forward, they also challenge existing processes and bring a breath of fresh air to the entire company. Want more cool insights into the contribution of interdisciplinary teams to innovation in companies? Then don't miss this exciting article, which explains the Importance of interdisciplinary cooperation emphasized.

Finally, although it is often used as a buzzword, innovation is hardly conceivable without interdisciplinary teams. They are the linchpins in an era in which knowledge is growing exponentially and no single person can maintain an overview. Interdisciplinary teams break down boundaries and create space for the unexpected, for the spark that gives rise to new products, services or even market structures.

So, dear teamworkers, don't let yourselves be restricted by specialist boundaries - if you really want to make a difference, think interdisciplinary! This is the key to innovation and progress. Stay curious, stay courageous and be ready to create great things together. You'll see that when the most diverse skills come together, magic happens - and that's what it's all about, isn't it?

Autonomous teams

Okay, folks, it's time to go autonomous! Autonomous teams are awesome because they give us a level of freedom and responsibility that is often lacking in traditional teams. Imagine being able to decide for yourself how to tackle your work without someone constantly looking over your shoulder. A dream, right? And that's exactly what the so-called "autonomous teams" are all about. Let's get into the details of what makes these teams special and how they differ from other forms of teamwork.

Definition and characteristics

So, what is an autonomous team? In short, a team in which the members decide for themselves how to achieve their goals. Sounds pretty relaxed at first, but autonomous doesn't automatically mean without structure. On the contrary, these teams have clear goals and guidelines, but the way in which they carry out their tasks is up to them. In principle, the teams plan, organize and control their work themselves.

What these teams have in common is that they often benefit from a strong vote of confidence from the company management - after all, they are given a lot of personal responsibility. Autonomous teams are particularly popular in progressive companies where initiative and self-administration are very important. The principle often applies there: you know best how to rock your tasks yourself!

A good example of autonomous teams can be found in many tech companies, where software developers usually organize themselves. There is no project manager overseeing every step. Instead, the teams work in a self-organized way and achieve their goals through independent decisions and existing competencies. If you want to know more about how autonomous teams are managed, you can take a look at this article about self-organized teams throw.

Self-management and decision-making

Now it gets interesting: Self-management is at the heart of autonomous teams. This means that the team virtually takes over the management functions of traditional bosses. Sounds good, but it's a challenge at first, because for the whole thing to work, you need proper communication and democratic decision-making.

In such teams, it is important that all members pull together and have the same vision. Decisions are usually made jointly and everyone has a voice. This can sometimes lead to intense discussions, but the aim is always to find the best way forward for the team.

The great thing about it is that when everyone gets involved and feels responsible, motivation and commitment to the common goals increase. People identify with their work because they are directly involved in shaping it. This often results in a stronger corporate culture and greater employee satisfaction. And if you need a few more tips on self-management, take a look at the Top 7 characteristics of self-directed teams on. There are useful tips on how you can implement this in your team.

But beware: autonomous teams are not suitable for everyone. Those who prefer clear instructions and fixed structures may find it difficult here. You need people who are willing and able to take on responsibility and who are prepared to get involved in discussions and decision-making processes.

In summary, autonomous teams are real powerhouses for companies and employees who are prepared to go one step further in the way they work. With the right attitude and a little practice in self-management, they can work wonders - it's just a matter of taking the first step!

So, that should give you a good overview of the concept and how autonomous teams work. One thing is clear: autonomy in the workplace is not just a buzzword, but a real game changer for people who are prepared to take the reins into their own hands. So, take heart, be brave and realize yourself - because in the end, it's the team result and your contribution to it that counts! And who knows, maybe you will be part of such a self-organized team in the next project and steer your own little boat in the big ocean of the working world. Go for it!

Task forces and ad hoc teams

Hey, have you ever heard of task forces and ad hoc teams? These dynamic teams are like fire departments in the business world: they are deployed when there is a fire or when special projects and challenges arise that require quick and goal-oriented action. Now you're probably asking yourself: "What makes this type of team different from the usual ones?" Well, hold on tight, because that's exactly what we're going to find out now!

Goal-oriented temporary teams

Task forces and ad hoc teams are units for special assignments. They are not made for eternity, but for specific goals. These teams often consist of experts from various disciplines who are hand-picked for the task. The aim is to pull the coals out of the fire - often under enormous time pressure.

What makes these teams so special is their ability to form, adapt and disband quickly. Imagine a company is faced with a huge challenge, such as launching a new product or dealing with a crisis. A team is then quickly put together to focus entirely on solving this one task. A great example of this is when large companies set up a task force after a cyber attack to manage the whole thing and develop solutions. It sounds hectic, and it is - but that's exactly what makes it so exciting!

But not only large companies, but also states or international organizations form ad hoc units to respond to events. Think of humanitarian missions or task forces that provide rapid assistance after natural disasters. The members of these teams have to learn to work together effectively in a very short space of time. It's like a sprint in teamwork - full of energy and focus.

Would you like to take a look at the practice of such teams? Then you can register with the German Armed Forces who think in terms of contract teams in their international assignments. By the way, setting up and managing ad hoc teams is an art in itself - and super exciting!

Examples of areas of application

Are you wondering in which areas such teams are needed? The answer is: wherever quick solutions are required. You might first think of disaster areas or IT emergencies, but the spectrum is much broader. Think of strategic corporate developments, important negotiations or the management of major projects - this is where the nimble teams come into play.

A typical area of application for task forces is, for example, the mergers & acquisitions (M&A) sector, where company takeovers have to be strategically planned and implemented. Such teams are also essential in product development when it comes to reacting quickly to market movements or technological innovations. And by the way, task forces are often used in the healthcare sector when developing new drugs or vaccines. Research, testing and evaluation are then carried out at lightning speed.

For those of you who want to discover more on this topic, there is a wealth of resources available. For example Jumper the management of task forces from a scientific perspective. You can really dive in and look at the topic from a different angle.

It is clear that, despite the variety of areas of application, all task forces have one thing in common: they have to organize themselves extremely quickly, need a clear objective and must be able to react flexibly to changes. This is not everyone's cup of tea, but for those who excel in such settings, they are the perfect playground to fully apply themselves and their skills.

It is always fascinating to see how these goal-oriented temporary teams appear out of nowhere, achieve great things and then disappear again once their mission has been accomplished. They are like the superheroes of the working world who come, see and win - and as soon as the job is done, they leave again. Quietly and yet with a lasting impact.

Now it's up to you: could you imagine being part of a task force? Or perhaps you have already gained experience in ad hoc teams? Either way, one thing is certain - in our fast-moving times, these flexible teams have become practically indispensable. They are the link between stability and change, and it is precisely this balance that makes the modern working world so exciting!

Welcome to the world of cross-functional teams, friends! Here, the spirit of versatility and cooperation between different departments and specialties prevails. Let's immerse ourselves in this exciting universe in which the boundaries between disciplines are blurred and everyone pulls together. Cross-functional teams are the prototype of modern working concepts that are ideal for developing fresh ideas and finding innovative solutions. But what exactly makes this type of team special? Come with us on a journey of discovery!

Integration of different specialist areas

In a cross-functional team, it doesn't matter whether you are marketing gurus, coding-enthusiastic IT heads or creative design masterminds - your common goal is what counts here. You bring your individual strengths and perspectives into one pot and create a melting pot that is bursting with ideas. The magic comes from the fact that all team members contribute their different knowledge and experience and allow these differences to inspire each other.

For example, a product manager can introduce customer requirements, while a developer knows how this can be implemented and a designer makes the whole thing user-friendly. In this way, projects become reality that would have just gathered dust in a departmental drawer without this cross-functionality. The integration of different specialist areas therefore leads to a broader perspective and improved problem-solving skills.

If you want to find out more about how such teams work, you should read the article on the Correct handling of cross-functional teams watch. It gives you a cool insight into the dynamics involved in this type of teamwork.

Advantages and challenges

The advantages of cross-functional teams are as diverse as the teams themselves. You can use your different skills to approach projects more creatively and innovatively. Collaborating with colleagues from other departments can be super inspiring and often leads to a better understanding of the big picture, allowing you to see your own tasks in context. You learn from each other and develop a deep understanding of each other's work. In short, you grow from the tasks and from each other.

However, there are also challenges - and these should not be minimized. Communication problems and misunderstandings can occur when team members speak their own technical language and the others don't know what it's all about. Also, let's not forget that coordinating such a team is often more complicated because everyone has their own approach and working style. And let's be honest, sometimes there are also power games when everyone thinks their area of expertise is the most important.

If you are interested in the different perspectives on the challenges and benefits of cross-functional teams, you should definitely take a look at the study by teamazing throw. It clearly explains how such teams are best managed and what it takes to overcome the potential stumbling blocks.

Ultimately, however, the effort is worth it in most cases, as cross-functional teams can help companies to broaden their horizons. They encourage thinking outside the box and bring together departments that may traditionally have had little to do with each other. With the right approach and a good dose of understanding for the other team members, the challenges become nothing but a peanut - and the benefits? Enormous!

There you have it, dear teamworkers, cross-functional teams in all their glory! They are like an ensemble of different instruments that play a hammer symphony together. Everyone contributes their part, and the interplay creates a sound experience that gets under your skin. It's the same in the working world: everyone contributes their own note and the joint song sounds simply great. So, let's move on to the colorful areas of collaboration - cross-functional is the way to go!

Teams in flat hierarchies

So, guys, have you ever wondered how teams actually work in companies where the hierarchies are flatter than a flounder? Today we take a look at what makes teams in these modern structures tick and how this influences team dynamics. Flat hierarchies are all the rage at the moment because they enable quick decisions and direct communication. But what does this actually look like in everyday team life? Come with us on a journey through the world of flat hierarchies and discover what it means to be part of a team here!

Characteristics of flat hierarchies

Okay, let's start with the obvious: In companies with flat hierarchies, there aren't so many rungs on the career ladder. You know, fewer bosses and more direct interaction between the people who actually do the work. This creates a relaxed atmosphere because everyone is more on an equal footing and dares to speak their mind. The result? More creativity and often faster implementation of ideas.

And now for the best part: you can often really get involved in such teams. Because not everything is dictated from the top, you have the chance to help shape things and take responsibility. And let's be honest, who doesn't want to have more say in the work you rock every day?

Sure, all this freedom sounds super cool, but it doesn't come without challenges. Without clear instructions from above, you often have to take the initiative yourself - and that can sometimes be quite exhausting. So, if you want to find out more about this way of working, take a look at this article about the Advantages and challenges of flat hierarchies on. It gives you a good overview.

Effects on team dynamics

This is where it gets interesting: flat hierarchies completely change the rules of the game in the team. Because the executive floor is leaner, the paths are shorter and everyone can have a more personal say. Not only that, it also strengthens the team spirit because you have the feeling that you are really making a difference. That can be super motivating and lead to the team growing together as if they were all old school friends.

But be careful: This also means that you have to be good at conflict management. When hierarchies are flat, disputes have to be resolved at a different level, usually directly within the team. It's super important that everyone learns to discuss things fairly and constructively, without anyone being able to hide behind the boss's back. Honesty and openness are the be-all and end-all here.

And another thing: flat hierarchies can mean that the roles in the team are more flexible. You are no longer just "the one with the numbers" or "the one with the colorful presentations", but everyone can and should try out new areas. That's an approach that really brings fun into the office, isn't it?

If the topic grabs you, then take a look at the Advantages and disadvantages of flat hierarchies. There's some really in-depth information that can help you understand the team dynamics in such structures.

To summarize, my dear readers, teams with flat hierarchies are a real boon for anyone who wants to have a say and receive direct feedback. Of course, it's sometimes a balancing act, but hey, what would work be without a little challenge, right? So, don't be intimidated and do your bit, because the flat hierarchies could be exactly the environment in which you really flourish. Get stuck in!

So, who's up for a little adventure in the world of self-directed teams? These are teams that manage without traditional leaders and rely on collective intelligence instead. Sounds exciting, doesn't it? Let's take a closer look and discover what makes these teams tick and what sets them apart from others - true to the motto: team power from the bottom up!

Basic principles and working methods

Imagine being part of a team that pushes out its own agenda without anyone saying: "Do it this way or that way." Sounds like freedom and that's exactly what self-directed teams are all about. The team members take joint responsibility for their goals, plans and results - a real team spirit without traditional bosses.

This self-management is based on principles such as trust, transparency and personal initiative. Instead of waiting for instructions to trickle down from above, the members get actively involved, bring their ideas to the table and find solutions together. When everyone contributes their strengths and skills and the team has a say in decision-making, this leads to a way of working that is highly motivating and ensures innovative solutions.

A classic example is teams in start-ups or smaller companies, which often have flat hierarchies and rely on the active participation of everyone. However, these teams can also be found in larger companies, where departments are increasingly emphasizing agility and employee involvement. It is not for nothing that companies such as Gore or Semco have made a name for themselves with this team-centered way of working and have proven that it can be successful. If you're interested in examples of companies that rely on self-directed teams, google "Semco style" and see for yourself how they take it to the extreme.

Now you might think this all sounds like a never-ending group cuddle - but far from it! Self-directed does not mean "laissez-faire". Rather, it means that discipline and clear communication are the be-all and end-all. Team members must know their tasks, support each other and give constructive feedback. And yes, this requires a fair amount of maturity and professionalism. With the Proaktiv Management AG you will find exciting insights into how interaction in self-managed teams can work and what influence this has on the role of the manager.

Differences to other team forms

What makes self-directed teams so special compared to other types of teams? Well, while in traditional teams the roles and tasks are often strictly assigned by the manager, here it is up to the team to organize itself. This not only promotes a sense of responsibility, but also flexibility.

There is also a big difference in the way decisions are made. While top-down decisions are often the rule in hierarchical teams, decisions in self-directed teams are based on the consensus of all members. Ideally, everyone has the same voting power, which means that decisions are well thought through and widely supported.

The roles are also more dynamic and can change depending on requirements and the project phase. This also means that further development and learning within the team play a much greater role, as everyone must be prepared to act outside their own comfort zone from time to time.

For teams that operate in flat hierarchies, such self-directed structures can promote productive collaboration and lead to an increased level of employee satisfaction. And not to forget - they can also be a real competitive advantage. Take a look at the interesting thoughts on this at Haufe Academy that show how self-organized teams can rock in practice.

So, guys, if you're up for self-determination in the workplace, then self-directed teams might be right up your street. Seize the opportunity and show the world what team power really means. No more waiting for instructions - it's time to take control! And who knows, maybe you'll be the next to show how it's done and what's possible in such a team. In any case, it will be exciting to see how such teams develop and what mark they will leave on the world of work. Go, teams, go!

What's up, dear people! Today we're taking on something exciting: Network-like teams and communities. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to work in a team that feels more like a network than a traditional working group? In our digital era, these forms of collaboration are here to stay. So, let's dive into the world where the boundaries between individual work and the sense of togetherness of a community project are blurred.

Definition and mode of operation

Network-like teams manage without fixed office walls and rely on the power of networking, both online and offline. They are flexible groupings that constantly find and organize themselves anew depending on the project or task. Imagine it like this: You have an idea or a problem and tap into a global network of contacts to find answers or solutions. Sounds a bit like the future, doesn't it?

In such teams, everyone is their own leader and organizer, there are few formal hierarchies and the structures are fluid. The members of a network-like team could be spread all over the world, but meet regularly in virtual meetings to share ideas or discuss milestones. It's about sharing skills, encouraging each other and, above all, networking knowledge. In a Working world that is becoming increasingly complexsuch dynamic networks are the ideal breeding ground for innovation and the promotion of creativity.

And here's the cool thing: by working in networks, you constantly get to know new people, receive a wide variety of stimuli and broaden your horizons practically in your sleep. Of course, this type of collaboration also requires a certain amount of discipline and the ability to organize yourself. Take a look at what the Impact of Social Ties on Open Source Project Team Formation says about it - that gives really good insights.

Example: Open source projects

Open source projects are a perfect example of such a network. Who would have thought that people from all over the world could work on a software project without ever having met face-to-face? Real magic, I tell you! In such projects, everyone throws their skills into the ring, programs snippets of code or tests features, and in the end everyone benefits from the result together. It's like playing a giant jigsaw puzzle where everyone adds their own pieces and the overall picture only gradually emerges.

Open source is not only proof of successful collaboration in digital networks, but also a sign of the power of community. Through voluntary and self-motivated collaboration, tools and applications are developed that are then available to everyone. It is a give and take based on the principle of reciprocity and shared progress. If you want to delve deeper into the topic, check out the article on the Importance of social connections in open source project teams - that is truly inspiring.

And now it's your turn, my friends: imagine you could contribute your skills to such a network. Maybe you have a passion for programming, design or marketing - everyone has a role to play in networked teams and communities. Let's use these new ways of working together and show how we can shape the working world of tomorrow together. So, get off the beaten track, network and become part of something big!

In summary, networked teams and communities are the future of teamwork. They are flexible, adaptable and perfectly suited to today's fast-paced, globalized world. They show that it is possible to achieve success together without fixed structures. So let's join forces, network digitally and make the world a little bit better together. Let's enter the network era!

Hey, have you heard of hybrid team structures? These are the all-rounders in the team jungle! They combine the best features of different team forms and are therefore perfectly equipped for our increasingly complex working world. Whether in the office, working from home or on the go - hybrid teams make it possible. So, let's take a closer look at what makes these flexible teams so special and why they are becoming increasingly popular.

Combination of different team forms

Imagine having a team that is as adaptable as a chameleon. That's exactly what hybrid teams are: they bring together the different strengths of traditional, agile and virtual teams to combine the best of all worlds. Sometimes this means that they work together in a sprint like a scrum team, then again using the continuous improvement of a Kanban team and at the same time enjoying the flexibility and global networking of a virtual team.

The great thing about hybrid teams is their flexibility. They can quickly adapt to changing project requirements and environments. They also benefit from the diversity and different perspectives that everyone brings to the team. For example, a hybrid team could consist of members who work partly in the office, partly from home and sometimes meet in a coworking space as required. It is crucial that all team members are well connected and communicate effectively so that everyone is always up to date - no matter where they are in the world.

If you want to find out more about how companies can benefit from hybrid teams and integrate them into their day-to-day work, it's worth taking a look at the publication by manager magazine. There you will learn about the challenges and potential of such teams.

Adaptation to complex projects and environments

One of the greatest strengths of hybrid teams is their ability to adapt seamlessly to complex and dynamic projects. They are the Swiss army knife in the world of teamwork - always the right tool at hand. Whether it's quick iterations in app development or long-term, strategic corporate planning, a hybrid team will find its way through the jungle of requirements.

Because hybrid teams use elements from different working methods, they can respond effectively to changing market conditions. They use agile methods to react quickly to feedback and improve products iteratively, but also rely on the proven processes of traditional teams when it comes to basic business operations.

They are also able to thrive in virtual environments, which allows them to bring in talent from all over the world. The result? A team that can be active at any time of the day or night, allowing them to collaborate with customers and partners internationally.

Even when things get tricky, for example when different time zones and working cultures collide, hybrid teams prove their strength by overcoming barriers and remaining flexible. For a detailed discussion and practical tips on how to deal with complex hybrid team structures, take a look at the studies on the topic of "hybrid work", such as the one by Jumper - there's a lot of valuable knowledge there.

Hybrid team structures are therefore real all-rounders who are not easily rattled. Whether an unexpected project flutters onto the table or the customer suddenly requests a change - these teams take it with a smile and just get on with it. They are the answer to the question of how to stay one step ahead in a working world that never stands still.

So, take advantage of the benefits that hybrid teams offer and don't let rigid structures stand in your way. Take advantage of the opportunities offered by the modern working world and create your own super team that won't be thrown off course by any challenge. With this in mind: be hybrid, be flexible and always stay one step ahead!

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About the Author: Sven Emmrich

Sven Emmrich avatar
Sven is a business graduate, DEKRA-certified coach and passionate entrepreneur. As CEO of Karrierehelden, he has been writing for many years on all career topics such as job applications and job changes, money and salary negotiations, leadership skills and management issues, psychology and personality development, communication and conflict management, self-confidence and entrepreneurship, and the line between work and private life with work-life balance... or much more work-life integration. Sven has coached over 1,000 academics, professionals and executives with his team and is happy to help you too.
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