Trouble with Teamwork
Mary Owen examines the role and efficiency of teams
Recruiters say that candidates who can give examples of work they have done as members of a successful team are in as strong a position as those who can point to significant individual achievement. Indeed, too much of the latter may suggest that the person concerned is not a 'team player' - one of the more serious failings in the book of management.
The importance of being a team player is a side effect of the increasing interaction across departments and functional divides. Instead of pushing reports, paperwork and decisions around the organisation, 'teams provide a dynamic meeting place where ideas can be shared and expertise more carefully targeted at important business issues,' says Steve Gardner, in his book Key Management Concepts. He adds, 'Globalisation has added a further dimension to teamwork. Multinational teams now study policy decisions in the light of their impact on the local market.'
But is teamworking being overdone? 'Some managers are on as many as seven or eight different teams', says Dr Cathy Bandy, a psychologist who recently ran a conference on the subject. 'They take up so much time that managers can't get on with core tasks.' Forming teams and having meetings has, she says, become an end in itself, almost regardless of purpose. There is also the danger of an unhealthy desire to keep the team going after the work has been done. 'People feel the need to belong, and team membership can provide a kind of psychological support.'
The idea behind teamworking is that, when the right group of people is brought together, a 'force' develops which is greater than the sum of their individual talents. This is often true in sport, where good players can reach unexpected heights as members of an international team. However,few business situations have as clear a set of objectives, or as clear criteria of success or failure, as winning a match.
'In business, everyone needs to be clear about what the challenge is and whether a team is the right way of approaching it', says Steve Gardner. 'Unfortunately, people focus instead on who the members of the team should be and what roles they are to play' Dr Bandy agrees. 'There is always a danger that teams can turn into committees,' she says. 'In a lot of situations, one or two individuals would be much more effective.'
So what makes a successful team? There are some general qualities that have been identified. Steve Gardnerrecommends that in every team there should be someone who is good at researching ideas and another who is good at shooting down impractical ones. There should be those who can resolve the tensions that naturally occur in a team and others who are focused on getting the job done. Also, providing a clear and achievable target at the outset is the best way of ensuring that the team will move on to greater things.
13 What point does the writer make about teamworking at the beginning of the article?
A It is the most successful form of management.
B It has changed the recruitment procedure in companies.
C Well-run teams still allow individuals to demonstrate their talents.
D Being a team player is now considered an essential management skill.
14 According to the article, teamwork developed within companies as a response to
A modern office design.
B changing work practices.
C a reduction in administrative tasks.
D the expansion of international business.
15 In the third paragraph, Dr Bandy suggests that
A many employees do not enjoy working in teams.
B some managers are not very effective team leaders.
C some teams are created unnecessarily.
D few teams are well organised.
16 According to the writer, teamwork is more effective in the field of sport because the players
A know what they want to achieve.
B are more competitive by nature.
C have more individual talent.
D can be driven by national pride.
17 Steve Gardner and Dr Bandy agree that when a business team is created people do not pay enough attention to
A the structure of the team.
B alternatives to the team.
C selecting the team members.
D directing the team's activities.
18 What is Steve Gardner's advice on operating a successful team?
A Maintain a flexible approach to membership.
B Allow personalities to develop within the team.
C Select people who fit naturally into certain roles.
D Make every effort to avoid conflict between members.
《Trouble with Teamwork》，团队合作的麻烦。文章讲了团队的重要性和很多团队存在的问题，以及怎么样才能打造一个成功有效的团队。
第十三题，问文章开头作者针对团队合作做了什么论点。第一段是强调团队合作的重要性，太多的个人成果会显得这个人不是个合格的团队成员。选答案要理解第一句话的含义：Recruiters say that candidates who can give examples of work they have done as members of a successful team are in as strong a position as those who can point to significant individual achievement.招聘者说能够给出自己作为一个成功团队成员的例子的候选人同那些指出重要的个人成果的人具有同样重要的地位。言下之意，拥有团队成员的经历也很重要。所以选D，作为一个团队成员如今被视为必要的管理技巧。A、B、C都没有提到。
第十四题，问公司内部的团队合作是作为对什么的回应。也就是问团队合作的目的是什么，答案是第二段的这么一句：'teams provide a dynamic meeting place where ideas can be shared and expertise more carefully targeted at important business issues 团队提供了一个动态的会议场所，使得思想可以分享，技能可以更加仔细的对准重要的商业问题。这句里的dynamic meeting place可以对应于B段的changing work practice。
第十五题，问在第三段Dr Bandy暗示什么。答案是她的一句原话：Forming teams and having meetings has, she says, become an end in itself, almost regardless of purpose.形成团队然后开会成了它本身的终点，几乎不管目的是什么。也就是说很多团队的建立是没有意义的，多余的。选C，一些团队被不必要的创建了。
第十六题，问作者认为团队合作在体育领域里更有效的原因是什么。第四段讲当一群正确的人被组合到一起时会产生一种高于这些人个人能力的力量，在体育比赛里就是如此。这一题的答案是第四段的最后一句：few business situations have as clear a set of objectives, or as clear criteria of success or failure, as winning a match.。很少有企业能像赢得一场比赛一样有一系列清晰的目标，或者是对成功或失败有清晰的评判准则。也就是A选项所说的：知道他们想要实现什么。what they want to achieve可以对应于a set of objectives。
第十七题，问这两个人同意当一个商业团队被创立时人们没有把注意力放在什么上面。这一题要理解第五段的意思。第一句说In business, everyone needs to be clear about what the challenge is and whether a team is the right way of approaching it。在企业，每个人都必须很清楚挑战是什么以及团队是否是实现它的最好的办法。考虑团队是不是最好的办法，也就是说要考虑其他可能的途径，即B选项所说的团队的替代品（alternatives to the team），后面有句focus instead….人们却把注意力放在了其他的地方。从这些可以看出答案是B。
第二段有个地方值得解释下。Globalisation has added a further dimension to teamwork。
牛津词典的解释：an aspect or feature of a situation, problem, or thing。
麦克米兰的解释：a part of a situation, especially when it influences the way you think about the situation。
e.g: Doing volunteer work has added a whole new dimension to my life.
常见搭配：an extra/added/additional/further dimension