Team building, group dynamics, talent management, leadership development, and any number of other functional areas are much more about clarity, focus, aligning expectations, and defining roles than creating equality" (Myatt, 2012). In the last twenty years, organizations have come to the realization that the better their employees are at working together, the more successful their organizations will be.
Reductions in budgets in the public sector mean that there is an increased pressure for these organizations to deliver more effectively. Team-building is a verifiable way to ensure a greater success at employee cohesion. Private sector organizations have largely realized this, as private sector organizations more frequently enlist the help of outside organizations such as team-building experts to teach and implement effective means of team-building for their workers. Given these trends in team-building, I would want to further explore: what are the immediate benefits of team building? What are the long-term benefits of team building? What are some of the common mistakes or challenges encountered on the road to team building?
Collaboration and Coordination with Outside Contractors
Effective collaboration and coordination is absolutely essential at both the public and private sector. Collaboration and coordination fundamentally refer to the ability to work well with other agencies and entities so that work is done in a manner in which all different parties are bringing their strengths to the project so that it is finished in the best possible way. Establishing collaborative partnerships between public service entities or between private sector entities can be truly beneficial, as well as with public sector and private sector entities. For instance, "Collaborative partnerships are non-legal working relationships that often occur between the public and private sectors to meet a common objective or goal. Primarily goodwill gestures, collaborative partnerships are often used to provide knowledge exchange or collective leverage resources for a specified goal" (nascio.org, 2006).
Given the facts, both organizations within the private sector and in the public sector need to learn how to work better with outside contractors and with outside organizations and specialists. At the most foundational level, an organization will only reach stability and keep stability if it has strong group cohesion and team development. However, an organization, be it public or private, won't be able to thrive, blossom and evolve unless it can work well with others, meaning outside contractors. For example, public organizations need to be able to work with one another immediately and seamlessly in times of crisis, rather than having delays and obstacles because they can't figure out how to do this. Thus, based on all these findings, I would naturally explore questions like: what are the best ways to foster coordination and collaboration? What are the best ways to train teams in the process of coordinating and collaborating information? What are some common stumbling blocks that organizations encounter in the task of coordination and collaboration?
Decision-making in an effective and meaningful way is a common thread of a range of thriving and relevant organizations. "Decision making is the most common task of managers and executives. Successful [organisations] ?outdecide' their competitors in at least three ways: they make better decisions; they make decisions faster; and they implement decisions more? (McLauglin 1995:443)" (Dillon et al., 2010, p.229). This quote aptly demonstrates the absolutely vital role that decision-making has come to play with all organizations which are high-achieving -- regardless of whether or not they are in the public or private sector. Thus, historically, decision-making has been and continues to be an incredibly crucial process for success.
However, it's long been known that decisions are made differently in the public sector vs. In the private sector. "Anecdotal evidence suggests that since public and private sector decision makers operate in different decision making contexts and employ different decision processes, their support needs differ… Results clearly indicate differences in the sectors; particularly in terms of how decisions are structured and how decision makers view the timeliness and relevance of the information they receive" (Dillon et al., 2010, p.230). Research like this demonstrates how decision-makers at these various arenas need different kinds of education and support as a result of the fact that their motivated by different factors and prioritize based on a range of different factors. The more we understand the needs of decision-makers, the better we'll be able to support them and thus they will become more empowered to make informed and wise decisions. Thus, the questions which arise from this are: what are concrete ways to better educate decision-makers? What are the most common motivating factors for decision makers in the private and public sector? How can we best support decision makers in each sector? How can we better understand the multi-faceted decision making process?" (Cellucci, 2008).
Communication processes are absolutely essential for any successful organization, public or private and they are just as pivotal as effective decision-making. As one expert points out, "If you think about it, there are numerous examples in our professional and private lives where the lack of communication or unclear terminology has created misunderstandings, problems and myriad other issues" (Cellucci, 2008). Communication functions to keep the wheels of public administration spinning as they should be. In fact, one could argue that communication needs to function in the exact same way in public and private organizations. Communication needs to be clear and unmistakable and all parties involved need to feel as though they can raise any issues or concerns that might come up along the way. The research conducted suggests that pertinent questions revolve around themes like: "What are some common breakdowns in communication?" Or "what are some elements that can undermine communication?" along with: "what are some of the traits of effective communication under pressure?"
Cellucci, T. (2008, October). Bridging the Communication Gap. Retrieved from DHS.gov: http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/bridging_the_communication_gap.pdf
Dillon, S., Buchannon, J., & Corner, J. (2010, November).Comparing public and private sector decision making: Problem structuring and information quality issues. Retrieved from https://secure.orsnz.org.nz/conf45/program/Papers/ORSNZ2010_Buchanan.pdf
Drexel.edu. (2013). 5 Stages of Group Development. Retrieved from Drexel.edu: http://www.drexel.edu/oca/l/tipsheets/Group_Development.pdf
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Myatt, M. (2012, April 19). Consensus - Team Building's Silent Killer. Retrieved from forbes.com: http://www.forbes.com/sites/mikemyatt/2012/04/19/consensus-team-buildings-silent-killer/
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