The formation of a Brand U team involves both process and product. The process of team building includes chartering the team, selecting team members, building consensus, negotiating team rules, resolving conflicts, encouraging involvement, ensuring fairness, monitoring progress, providing direction, and reinforcing progress. The product of a team is its deliverables, its results. The team may have to solve an intractable problem, implement systems, or gain ISO 9000 registration. The list goes on. Bottom line: the team has a measurable, deliverable objective.
Only a few people may report directly to the project manager who may have no formal position power or authority. This person leads through influence and example. This person knows how to negotiate, resolve conflicts, create coalitions, understand/satisfy individual needs, and be the consummate political player.
Examples of successful Brand U teams are often found in sports and music. For example, a winning football team is an assemblage of Brand U, each of whom has a specific function. Some players may be superstars. However, the winning football team usually has everyone subordinating personal glory to team success.
The coach shapes team performance. The coach takes individual abilities and blends them with other Brand U talents. If there are performance holes, the coach will correct, suggest, reinforce or do what’s necessary to assist Brand U’s excel within the structure of the team.
Virtual Brand U teams sidestep matrix and hierarchal organizations. They’re confusing because of unknown relationships and new expectations. Virtual teaming is still new with many questions, such as the following:
What are behavioral protocols or rules among virtual teams? Who does what, where, and when? Who conducts the work? Who authorizes resources and how is it done? Where does responsibility and authority lie? These are confusing and change the fundamental relationships within an organization. Answers often depend on who is on the team and what does each person bring to the team.