Despite the simplistic cliché that ‘there is no I in team’, the reality is that teams are collections of individuals (‘I’s), and there will be no real teamwork if individual needs are not met, if they are sacrificed, as it were, to the overall collective interest. Indeed, what makes for an effective team is for people to work together in such a way that everyone feels fulfilled by the collaboration. It is not a case of suppressing individual needs, but rather of incorporating them into the wider picture of collective needs, with some degree of trade off involved — successfully managing the tensions and conflicts involved rather than naïvely assuming there will not be any. We have to remember that each ‘I’is a person, a human being, and so the ‘no I in team’ mentality runs counter to the idea of a people-focused approach to organizational life.
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