$#*!@ Dr. John Sullivan Says! – Is Teamwork Really Overrated?

Editor’s Note: For more than 30 years, Dr. John Sullivan has been renowned as a provocateur and strategist in the field of human resources and talent management. His specialty is HR strategy and designing world class HR systems and tools for Fortune 200 firms, and he’s never, ever been shy about telling it like it is.

In fact, he’s pretty blunt in his opinions, and that’s why TLNT asked him to share some of his thinking about management and HR in a video series titled “$#*!@ Dr. John Sullivan Says!” Look for these videos twice a week here at TLNT.

Today’s Topic: Teamwork

Teamwork is described by About.com as “Fostering teamwork is creating a work culture that values collaboration. In a teamwork environment, people understand and believe that thinking, planning, decisions and actions are better when done cooperatively. People recognize, and even assimilate, the belief that “none of us is as good as all of us.”

That’s certainly a good definition, but the question still remains — is the concept of teamwork overrated of underrated when it comes to business?

As San Francisco State University Professor of Management Dr. John Sullivan notes in this segment of “$#*!@ Dr. John Sullivan Says!”, teamwork by itself doesn’t guarantee that your business or organization is going to win or be successful.

That’s because teams can slow down innovation and actually may hamper good ideas. Some successful businesses, he notes, have been able to use teamwork to their benefit, but only when modeling themselves on competitive teams.

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In this video, Dr. John discusses the pros and cons of business teams, and points to some organizations that have used teams to help drive their success.

But he is also clear about this: “Teams are not the answer to most problems if you want innovation, if you want speed, if you want accountability.”

John Hollon is Editor-at-Large at ERE Media and was the founding Editor of TLNT.com. A longtime newspaper, magazine, and business journal editor, John has deep roots in the talent management space. He's the former Editor of Workforce Management magazine and workforce.com, served as Editor of RecruitingDaily, and was Vice President for Content at HR technology firm Checkster. An award-winning journalist, John has written extensively about HR, talent management, leadership, and smart business practices, including for the popular Fistful of Talent blog. Contact him at johnhollon@ere.net, connect with him on LinkedIn, or follow him on Twitter @johnhollon.

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