Too often, you’re in a situation where someone new joins the team. It might seem like a simple situation or if you’re in most organizations in India, you might even wonder what the fuss is about. The truth is that your team is about to be disrupted. Productivity will drop and team dynamics will be affected – among a lot of other things. And no, am not a doomsayer.

I have seen far too many instances of organizations believing that adding a 16th member to a 15 member team, is likely to increase the productivity or output

I have seen far too many instances of organizations believing that adding a 16th member to a 15 member team, is likely to increase the productivity or output. Unfortunately or fortunately, humans are not inanimate machines. They come in with intentions, expectations, skills, attitude and promises. And usually, it takes just one of these to change the dynamics of your existing team.

The problem is not because most organizations are ignorant of this. But rather because they do not do enough about it. Its easier to recruit and bring someone into the team, put them through a generic induction of company values, policies etc and usually that’s it. What about the team they work with? How do you induct into the team? How much effort should you put in that?

Even taking the inappropriate analogy of an inanimate machine, you’d still see the linkage of what should be and shouldn’t be. Just for a moment, imagine your existing team as an efficient array of interlinked gear wheels. That’s how good they’ve gotten and everything is moving properly and as per plan. Adding another wheel into the mix changes your machine completely. You need to figure what your new gear can do, where it fits, what it should do, what will be the expected outcome, how much you need to oil it, whether it needs a push to get started, whether you need to sand it down to fit better or burnish it to match the rest of the wheels. And then you also need to figure out where the other gears will now fit because if you already had an efficient machine, the new gear will not fit on the outside. You just might have to move every piece around, change the dependencies, change which gear works with which other, and so on.

Don’t underestimate the inclusion and induction process. If you do not invest the time, you will probably end up with two fragmented machines with a far lower combined efficiency or output than the original one. That’s when your organization comes back to you to address “silo mentality”. For a better success rate, organizations and teams would benefit a lot more if they spend two or three times the effort of inducting into a team than they do recruiting into a team.

dfrens team building fitting gears together