Being a part of a team is only necessary when the results you are seeking to achieve cannot be accomplished by an individual or the independent efforts of individuals. In any team, there comes a point where different team members will need to defer to the needs of the wider team in service of the overall goal. In teams which exhibit this dysfunction, individuals work to satisfy their own personal agendas or their departmental priorities. This may be driven by a desire for status, or a misplaced loyalty to ‘protect’ their team. Ultimately, our loyalty needs to lie with our team of peers (our #1 Team) because it is this team which ultimately serves the organisational goals.
Action plan: Sometimes it is recognition and reward systems which drive the wrong behaviours. If teams or individuals who are interdependent for achieving goals are rewarded, recognised or targeted on the basis of individual performance, this is likely to promote unhelpful behaviours. Review how you target, measure performance and reward your teams; make sure that if you want them to focus on collective goals your KPIs, measures and rewards are based on performance at this level. Secondly, ensure that everyone is clear about the overall organisational priorities, so they know that if another department needs their help in service of a larger organisational goal, that support will be offered unquestioningly even if that means subjugating the priorities of that department to do so.