Are you a bunch, a group or a team?

This article was inspired by Kathy Kolbe and her work, I have been trying to find my notes from my last trip to Phoenix but they are hidden or hiding. It was then that I first heard Kathy talk about the concept of a bunch, a group and a team. In my work with small businesses I always refer to the collective as a team, although it is quite clear that they are not a true team as I would consider it.

Let’s look at the terms:

A bunch: A collection. In business these are people who operate within the same organisation, occasionally overlap but essentially are in their own zones or silos. I have encountered a fair few of these in dental practices.

A group: A number of persons considered as a collective unit, bound together by common standards or interests, or whose roles in a business or enterprise overlap and sometimes coalesce for the same common aim.  This describes many dental practice units that describe themselves as teams.

A (true) team: A collection of people organised to work together. A number of players forming one of the sides in a sporting contest. One that is often the case in some workforces – 2 or more animals working together to pull a vehicle or agricultural equipment.

Once you have worked with, or as part of, a true team you will know the difference and find it hard to give your best in any other set up. To experience true synergy day in day out, a united force that understands why they are there and are clear about what is expected of them is a joy and makes work so much easier and more satisfying. It takes hard work both to build a team and to keep it together. I have been privileged to have been involved with building teams both in my professional and personal lives and still enjoy the challenges it brings. The lessons have shaped me and also made me sad for those who just don’t get what the difference between the three types of collectives are and would rather not work harder at building and maintaining.

One thing always surprises me and that is a reluctance of small teams to practice together. Whether that be soft skills, drills or technical elements, with the exception of the rules laid down around CPR very little seems to happen.

In the videos attached, the individuals are a true team, they each have a specific role which they clearly understand and at which the excel, they all rely on their teammates doing their jobs to the very best of their abilities and they practice, practice, practice until they live and breathe their jobs and they usually get it right.

But sometimes things can just happen and they go wrong, a great team will look at and analyse what happened, will not apportion blame and will work at getting right the next time.


Published by Alun Rees

Dental Business Coach. Analyst. Troubleshooter. Consultant. Writer. Presenter. Broadcaster.

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