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Culture of a team

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Organizational culture is a collection of or a system composed of shared values, assumptions, and beliefs which govern how the people within the organization behave. A healthy organizational culture is, therefore, a vital part of the success of a company. Eagle group's success was not inspired by the level of competition, the nature of human relations within the company, the structure of the organization or the incentives to the employees but the right organizational culture which emphasized on team work. The following are the tenets of organizational culture that explain the success of Eagle group (Bolman, L. G., & Deal, T. E. 1992).

Agreement when forming teams.

The Eagle group came up with a way of inviting the Engineers to teams. They were invited in a manner that the employees could see the sense of forsaking family, friends, and health to achieve the difficult organizational goals. In the process, the Engineers were asked to sign up by going for a suicide-like mission in Mount Everest which goes went to instill confidence in them. The employees then learned from that moment the importance of working as a team and the benefits that can come from such team work.  This significant process of forming teams explains why the group had strong, functioning and successful teams.

Leadership by example.

According to Bolman, L. G., & Deal, T. E. (1992), the leadership style at the Eagle group was one of the greatest reasons for the group’s success. The Eagle group preferred leadership by example over command leadership. De Castro and West were the chief architects of the leadership by example, and they boosted the innovativeness of the employees by being ambiguous. For instance, the Data General's CEO, De Castro never appeared physically but let his presence be felt in the organization. The two leaders rarely interfered with the work being done by employees but instead helped them in sorting out the challenges they had brought.

Enhancing group diversity.

The Eagle group realized that in as much as all the employees were trained engineers, they possessed different skills and talents. The group went ahead to use the diversity among the top engineers to institutionalize specific team roles. In the group, some employees were warm and approachable while some were cold and remote. The group was also diverse regarding age for instance; the Micro kids consisted of young engineers who were responsible for programming new machines. The diversity greatly contributed to the success of the group.

Use of a specialized language.

It was the belief of the group that a shared language bonds a team together and serves as a visible sign of membership and ultimately sets the team apart from outsiders and hence reinforces the unique values and beliefs of the group. In the words of Bolman, L. G., & Deal, T. E. (1992), Eagle group used several special words and phrases such as stack overflow which meant that the memory of an engineer was full and ‘give me a core dump' which simply meant, ‘give me your thoughts.'

Use of humor in the organization.

The Eagle group realized that tension among the team members could result in an ultimate failure in the organization. It is for this simple reason that the group incorporates into its culture an element of humor to reduce tension among the employees. For instance, Alsing welcomed Micro kids into the programming world using a computer game in which the engineers had to write a program in Trixie language (Bolman, L. G., & Deal, T. E. 1992).

In conclusion, therefore, the culture of Eagle group played a central role in the group's success. The group members showed commitment right from the sign-up stage and boosted the commitment with humor, leadership by example, use of unique language, stories, and rituals and enhanced group diversity.

How to apply the success factors in a class team.

Borrowing from the organizational culture that contributed to the success of Eagle group, the following are the applications to the class team.

Diversity in a class team can be looked at regarding the different academic capability of the classmates coupled with the diverse talents. For instance, a team in class should consist of students who are strong in different academic fields such as Philosophy, Mathematics or History. This mix of students would go along the way into enhancing improved performance.

Second, the class teams can adopt a unique language to use so as to enhance the closeness and inclusiveness. The unique language would as well make it easier for a team member to ask for assistance if he or she feels uncomfortable to do so in the normal language. 

Finally, the team leader should allow members to join the class team by choice so as to encourage them to feel wholly part of the team. This can be achieved by stressing the point that the members joining the team are doing so on voluntary basis.

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