Unit 3: Managing Groups
Is there a difference between a group and team? Certainly, for example, groups can exist without having a specific goal in mind. Or said another way, groups can have a goal that fluctuates or changes to adapt to the needs of the group. A book club is a group. The people with whom you discuss that month's reading are not, however, part of your team. To have a team, you must have a clear and elevating goal which supersedes all individual goals. Usually, this goal does not change or get adjusted; instead, it guides all aspects of the team's performance. This does not mean there is no place for groups within a company; many groups exist to serve other needs within the organization. You might, for example, have a committee for enhancing diversity in some way or a group of executives that are searching for a new CEO. In both of these examples, there is a goal (e.g. increase diversity or find a CEO), but the way this goal is attained can change throughout the process. Perhaps your group decided mid-way through the process to only consider internal hires for the promotion as opposed to conducting an external search when the group was first formed. Whether you are working with a group or a team, there are several characteristics that successful groups and teams share, including proper group development, the establishment of guidelines and boundaries, leadership, and strong communication channels.
In this unit, you will learn about these topics and more. Because so much of business success relies on teams and groups, learning how to properly manage them may be the most important takeaway from this course.
Completing this unit should take you approximately 14 hours.