Henry Ford was quoted saying "Coming together is the beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success." Effective teams and teamwork aren't just for winning championships. The team mentality implemented into the workplace can bring about an environment of overall success. Most businesses however operate in a group mentality rather than a team mentality. While the two words seem very close and almost interchangeable there are several key differences that can make your team successful or not.

Team Characteristics:

        1. Teams work as an interdependent unit working together for common purposes and rely on    each other to meet corporate goals.

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        2. Teams feel a sense of ownership because they are part of the goal making process.  Individuals apart from the team are allowed to offer input and ideas in the overall process.   They become invested and feel valued.

        3. Teams are given the chance to use individual talents and knowledge toward team goals. Playing to the strengths of the individual offers a sense of purpose and value, individuals know they are being used and appreciated for their input into the process, creating a more productive work environment.

        4. Teams promote an environment of trust with open and healthy communication. They allow for differences in ideas and perspectives and use them to help in problem solving and moving forward.

        5. Teams are gradually given the opportunity to make good decisions and have been trained to move forward in overall objectives.

Teams work in an atmosphere where corporate goals are met but individuals feel valued and appreciated. Teams help foster a place where individuals work together for a common goal, but in the process are heard, utilized, and valued.  Teams offer environments of growth and participation that increase both motivation and productivity.

Group Characteristics:

        1. Groups tend to think on a more individualized basis. Work is usually more independent  based and focuses more on self rather than the overall good of the organization.

       2. Groups tend to foster environments where personal gain is more important than corporate success. People often step on each other's toes and seek their own good at any cost.

        3. There is often less trust within groups because individuals are working for themselves rather than the overall goals and success of the organization.

Organizations that can foster team environments vs. group environments will in essence "win championships". Productivity and growth becomes a "we" effort and not just a "me" effort. When the organization wins the team wins as well and success is shared.