Tuesday, February 8, 2011

characteristics of teams - relay for life

Relay For Life, a year-round fundraiser for The American Cancer Society, at Virginia Tech is well-known for being the #1 Collegiate Relay. At Virginia Tech’s Relay For Life in April, students, faculty, and members of the New River Valley come together over the course of one full night on the drillfield to celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and to fight back against the disease. This year, I am a member of the Marketing Committee for Virginia Tech’s Relay For Life. Our committee consists of 11 very dedicated individuals seeking out new and effective ways to market such a large event. The committee meets once a week to discuss upcoming marketing strategies and ideas. Marketing is such an important part of making Relay For Life successful, so it is imperative that our team effectively works together to reach out to the Virginia Tech community.

So What?
I would definitely categorize our Marketing Committee as a team as opposed to a group. What is the difference you may ask? According to Levi, a team is typically composed of 4-20 individuals who work interdependently to achieve a common goal. A group, however, ranges in size from 2-thousands of individuals who have a purpose or goal that is shared by all group members, but those individuals may not be working with each other directly.

My committee works together to come up with new marketing ideas each week, and also implements those ideas around the community. We are working all year on one specific aspect of Relay For Life. There are many other committees designated to other aspects, including fundraising, events, spirit, accounting, etc. Each Relay committee is its own team, and together we all make up a group.

Now What?
Now that I have established the Marketing Committee as a team, I will be very critical of our team’s success throughout the rest of the semester. I think the best way to see if our committee is being successful and productive is to use Hackman’s 3 criteria to defining team success:
1. Completing the task
2. Developing social relations
3. Benefiting the individual. 

So far, our committee has definitely developed good social relations because we work very well together, and get everything accomplished in a timely manner. By the end of April, I will be curious to see how we stack up in regards to the rest of Hackman’s 3 definitions of team success.

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