MAY 13 2019

Small Teams, Big Dreams


TAGS : small team, vision, dreams, entrepreneur

Small Teams, Big Dreams

Any large scale company today started off as something small in the past, Apple, Google, Dell, Amazon and many others in fact started off from a garage with a small team. Looking at where they are today, it can be said safely that it does not matter how small your team is or your situations limitations are, all you need is a zeal to shine and will to thrive. But these are only some of the teams which made it big and make for a case of success story but there have been even more teams which have not. So what is the key idea behind it all. How does one hope to achieve that perfect striking balance so the team big or small succeeds? Let us take a look at some of the insights drawn over the period of time observing unsuccessful teams as well as some of the successful ones.  Listing out the parameters and how they affect the team dynamics to build towards the vision.


The Ringleman Effect

The effect caused by the tendency of the individual members of a group to become less efficient leading to an overall decline in the productivity of the group as the size increases for the group. It is human tendency to slack off more if the onus is not on them completely and with the decreasing level of responsibility the effort spent on the project also decreases significantly. It has been observed that in case of a joint effort, the impact of individual commitment is less intense caused by a lack of motivation to give everything. Often leading to “Piggybacking”, people utilize this opportunity to slack off more as individual contribution becomes difficult to evaluate and get to know more of.


The Lego effect

Inspired from the famous study conducted by three professors from UCLA which involved building stuff with LEGO with a goal to see which size of team put together a specific LEGO structure together faster and better. The study observations lead to the conclusion that larger the number of people on a team, greater is the time taken to align all of them on the same page of the thinking process. In case of smaller teams, it is easier to do the same due to the size, as by reducing the size better clarity is achieved by individual members of the group rather than when in a big team where nobody has an idea about what the other teammates are upto leading to an information gap.


Relational Loss

Under this effect the individual member of the team gets a feeling that the amount of support being received has decreased over the time owing to expansion in team size. It’s a common phenomena in organizations where the team members feel left out or feel like they are missing out on things and not getting the support they used to get when small in size as compared to being a big team. This effect always tends to have a negative effect as the employee feels like being discarded or being kept out of loop on purpose which would lead to decreased productivity owing to dissatisfied employees. The actual problem is when one manager is responsible for managing so many people and the size of team might increase but a proportional increase on the number of managers is not visible giving rise to this Loss.


Social Loafing

A corollary drawn from the Ringleman Effect, this phenomena is encountered in a work group mostly with people compromising on their efficiency and productivity owing to the size of group. With large team numbers some members are bound to slack off with a belief that anyhow the work will get completed and team effort will be evaluated without any means knowing who did what and how or why. Taking this as an opportunity since individual extraction of effort is difficult, lot many people give little to zero effort again contributing to the 80/20 rule where 80 percent of the work is done by 20% of the team.