The following was written by Jon Katzenbach and Douglas Smith for the book "Building Better Teams" produced by the Harvard Business Review:
Having observed and worked with scores of teams in actionk, both successes and failures, we offer the following. Think of it as a working definition or, better still, an essential discipline that real teams share:
A team is a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to al common purpose, set of performance goals, and approach for which they hold themselves mutally accountable.
The essence of a team is common commitment. Without it, groups perform as individuals; with it, they become a powerful unit of collective performance. This kind of commitment requires a purpose in which team members can believe.
Teams develop direction, momentum, and commitment by working to shape a meaningful purpose.
The best teams invest a tremendous amount of time and effort exploring, shaping, and agreeing on a purpose that belongs to them both collectively and individually.
The best teams also translate their common purpose into specific performanc goals.