TEAMWORK AND ITS APPLICATION IN AN ORGANIZATION
Biblical values apply nearly all or all aspect of life. The successof various organizations can be traced to the values and culturesthey hold upon. The values shape the way they operate, behave and arereflected in their strategic plans. The vision and mission of anorganization can tell what values and virtues they hold upon. In thispaper, the focus is on teamwork, a value that is evident in the Biblein the New and Old Testament. We discuss how teamwork influences thesuccess of Tesco and the role of its leadership in promoting teamworkamong the stakeholders of the organization. It is the responsibilityof the leadership of the organization in ensuring there is teamworkin its employees and key stakeholders working together for a commongoal. The leaders must practice teamwork, and the other stakeholderswill follow suit.
Every organization has values upon which they are founded, and it isthrough these values they become valued by the communities, customersand organizations’ stakeholders. Values have been describe and usedin various ways where some research look value from the behavioralperspective while others view it from how target individuals treatobjects they interact with in their daily activities (Nwadei A. C.2004). The values and virtues an organization believes in shapes howthey operate, that is, relationship with customers, organization’sstrategy, and the communities they operate in. Strategic decisionsmade by an organization’s leadership and management are greatlyinfluenced by the values and culture it is founded upon. Therefore,it is the mandate of the top leaders and management of anorganization to express the values and virtue they would love theirorganization to live in just the way the first President of SynovusWilliam Clark Bradley (Hess E. D. & Cameron K. S. 2006). Leadersinstill values and culture they believe to be the best into theemployees, customers, and the entire community by first practicingthemselves.
Background of Tesco
The emphasis in this paper is on Biblical values and how they areapplied by Tesco in various practices and activities. Tesco is amongthe biggest sellers in the whole world. It was founded in 1919 inLondon’s East End, and it bases in retailing a wide range of foodin the United Kingdom. Over the years, Tesco have grownsignificantly, and now it has expanded its market to 12 countriesamong them are India, Malaysia, Poland and China. The organization’sperformance is not only displayed by the expansion of its operationsbut also through an increment of its employees every new year. Thesecret behind the success of Tesco has been attributed to theleadership that put first the interest of its stakeholders especiallythe customers, employees and the communities in which they operate.
Biblical value: Teamwork
In order to discern value system of various categories of individualsin a community, there is a need for effort and commitment from morethan one individual in an organization. Teamwork is a concept that isevident throughout the whole Bible and has been related to success invarious biblical projects. A good example of teamwork is displayed bythe disciples of Jesus. There was not only one disciple of Jesus but12 of them (Fellowship of Christian Athletes. 2009). When Jesus wassent to earth, he had a mission, and since He was not to stay onearth forever, He chose His disciples. Everyone has unique gift andabilities. Therefore, when He chose the twelve disciples, he broughtvarious unique gifts and capabilities together from twelveindividuals to preach the Good News. If he could have done it aloneor chose only one disciple, probably the impact of the Good Newscould have reached the individuals it reached within the same time.
The idea of people working together to achieve a common goal is theeasiest and recommended way to success. Paul compares the body ofChrist church, to the human body in 1 Corinthians 12. The human bodyis made up of many organs, tissues and cells that perform uniquefunctions and together, they make human life possible and successful.Without the heart, an individual cannot survive the same applies toother organs. The body needs all the organs, tissues and cells(Fellowship of Christian Athletes. 2009). From verses 27-31, Paulexplains the different roles that believers play in order for thechurch to be successful is bringing salvation to the spirituallyunclean and hungry which the mission of the Body of Christ is. Heexplains that one person cannot be endowed with all the gifts.Neither are all people prophets, apostles, healers or interpreters.People are gifted different, and Paul informed the believers thateveryone had their place in the church. And each position and roleplayed by an individual was as essential as another’s.
God designed a role for every individual He created regardless of theplace they or the position they are. Every situation has theirpurpose in the success of an organization. Fellowship of ChristianAthletes (2009) explain that every player have their role regardlessof whether they are in the field or bench, and the position they havein the field. All their efforts are geared towards achieving victoryfor the entire team and not for one individual. In the Body ofChrist, everyone would love to play a certain role but God havedesigned a place of relevance for them in the organization (church).That is the place then can best help the church bring salvation tothe Gentiles and spread the Good News. In the construction of Ark ofthe Covenant, various skills were needed instead of God instructingMoses to build it alone. Through the contributions from theindividuals assigned to participate in constructing the Ark of theCovenant, it was successful just as God had already planned.Throughout the Old and New Testaments, we can see that in anycommunity, people are gifted differently and play various roles thatare equally vital to the survival and success of the community(Woolfe, L. 2002).
Bramble, R. L. (2005) argues that there must be a leader to convinceand encourage everyone in any organization or community that theyneed each other and work as a team in order to succeed. Despite howgood a person maybe, it takes the effort and contributions fromothers to achieve his/her best. In any victory or community recordedin the Bible, there was a leader. Follows are subject to thebehaviors and values of the leaders. Furthermore, teamwork eliminatespride and instills humility into the followers and thus, the leadersmust practice humility and be part of him. A good example of a leaderin terms of humility was John the Baptist as express in the followingverses
“After me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandalsI am not fit to carry.” (Luke 3:30)
“I am not the Christ or Elijah but am sent ahead of him…He mustbecome greater I must become less.” (John 3:28)
Jesus was the best leader ever when it comes to humility and throughit He touched and changed many lives into His followers andbelievers. Jesus was more humble to the point of washing the feet ofhis disciples and even giving credit to his disciples. Leaders setthe direction they want their followers to follow just like Jesusdid He humbled himself and associated with the poor, those he comefor. Spreading the Good News needed humility and through thequalities learned from their leader Jesus, the disciples weresuccessful in preaching the gospel to various places and now to everypart of the world.
Teamwork in Tesco
The leaders of large organizations in the world have realized theneed for humility and teamwork in success despite how innovative,modern and knowledgeable they may be. Organizational culture and workenvironment is the cluster of key values, beliefs, and norms that areshared and expressed by the individuals in the organization which isspearheaded by the top leaders of the organization. Sir Terry Leahy,the former CEO of Tesco, cultivated teamwork into Tesco’sstakeholders. Sir Terry believed in teamwork as the only way forwardto success. The leadership style he used in running Tesco made Tescoincrease and grow its sales, market shares, and employees and expandto other countries and continents. He is one of the most admiredbusiness leaders due to his unique leadership skills.
Having in mind Tesco could not achieve any success without working asa team to achieve a common goal, the leadership developed a strategicplan that encourage and instill teamwork and togetherness among thestakeholders. Just from their vision and mission statements, teamworkis a priority.
“To be the mostly highly valued business by the customers weserve, the communities in which they operate, our loyal and committedcolleagues and of course, our stakeholders.”
“We make what matters better together.”
All the stakeholders are given a chance in the company just like Paulexplained in 1 Corinthians 12 that everyone has their place and roleto play. Strategic planning describes activities, values, culture andpractices of an organization. All should embrace developed strategicplan as a team and ensure its fulfillment. This is a responsibilityof the leadership of the organization. According to Speakers Corner,Sir Terry explains that leadership is not effective when the leaderhas not influenced others into the organization’s activities. Toencourage teamwork in the organization, the leadership ensured thatevery stakeholder is represented in the strategic plan. This wayeveryone feels that they are part of the organization and, therefore,will work towards its success.
Development of strategic plan is also teamwork since for it to berelevant key demands of stakeholders should be addressed by it.Tesco’s strategic plan advocates benefit for all without anystakeholder suffering or gaining at the expense of the other. Throughteamwork, the ever-changing demands of its customers can be easily beidentified and addressed in the strategic plan. In the tenure of SirTerry, Tesco grew in theirs sales and profit because of the fact thatthe needs of the customers were addressed by their products andservices. The employees were not also forgotten through theimprovement of their working environment and making Tesco a betterplace to be. Transparency in any activity undertaken by theorganization is therefore importance in building trust among theemployees, customers, shareholders and other stakeholders.
Just like in the Bible, the leadership of Tesco first displayedteamwork through the participation of the top leadership in theimplementation of its strategies and fighting for the good of theentire organization. Selflessness is core in achieving teamwork.Emgee (2014) states that business leaders like Sir Terry Leahcondemned “…the promotions of ruthlessness, selfishness andself-consumed bragging as seen on TV shows…”
Benefits of teamwork in an organization
There are several benefits of teamwork that an organization canenjoy. Teamwork enables individuals overcome pride and selfish gainsand then advocate for a common goal. Teamwork enables variousemployees in an organization e.g. Tesco to understand the positionand abilities and role in achieving organizational success. Sense ofinsecurity about individual’s position and roles in theorganization would lead to selfish efforts in order to prove theirself-worth in the organization. Through team work the sense ofinsecurity is overcome since every stakeholder in the organizationunderstand their role and position in the organization (Gupta, B. L.2007 Cadwell, C. M., & American Management Association. 2006).
As explain by Paul that every body part is vital for its survival,each employee or any other stakeholder is important for its success.Teamwork and team management enable an organization to achieve moreby making better use of their talents and removing any barrier tocooperation and communication. Every individual have unique talentsand capabilities, and when a leader brings together these individualsfor a common goal, their efficiency is enhanced. The overallproductivity of the organization is therefore increased becauseeveryone is working towards a common goal. No one can do everything,but an organization can achieve more by teamwork and overallcommitment of every member. Several individuals working as a team candevelop effective solutions as they pool their ideas. They not onlycome up with better ideas but also they increase the chance ofsuccessfully implementing the developed solution. Individualsassembled as one team have their potential maximized and developpositive feeling towards the operations and activities of theorganization (Cadwell, C. M., & American Management Association.2006).
Teamwork enhances the cohesiveness of the individual that increasesthe power of the organization. Cohesiveness enables various employeesand stakeholders of Tesco to perform their responsibilities in a bidto enhance customer experience and address their demands effectively(Baldwin, D. A., & Migneault, R. L. 1996). Teamwork promotesinnovation and creativity since the team members come from differentbackground and with varying knowledge. Therefore, they bring variousperspectives to the organization, which the leadership can transforminto useful tools to propel the organization towards fulfillment ofthe strategic goals and realize success. Due to the enhancedcohesiveness among the members of an organization, communication andcollaboration are enhanced by a great deal. As a result, an employeecan learn various ideas from fellow colleagues and even from theirleaders.
The leadership of an organization is responsible for the values,virtues and culture that their organization embraces. They shouldstudy and identify what the organization needs and identify thepotential of various members of the organization. The leaders bringthe members together with the aim of using the varying talents andabilities of individuals for a common good. Leaders should expecttheir followers to behave and act the way they behave. So they shouldpractice what they preach. Values in the Bible are relevant andneeded even in the secular world. They are important such thatwithout them, earthly organizations cannot progress. Teamwork is anexample of the biblical value that has found relevance in today’sorganizations. One person cannot do everything but when variousindividuals come together for a common goal, there can achieve and domore. In any successful team, there must be a humble leader whoencourages the team and provides direction to follow.
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