Teams and Committes


A team, you’ll recall, is comprised of people with a clear common purpose. Everyone is working together to accomplish something specific — create a product, meet a deadline, achieve some particular outcome.

A committee is comprised of people who assemble occasionally to talk about stuff. Seemingly endlessly. Often with little more than an oblique inkling of purpose. Opinions, often not well-informed, fly endlessly. And pointlessly.

Another key distinction of a team from a committee: the import of every member. In a true team, every member is necessary. The team could not function without the participation of every member — their role is defined, their contribution necessary.

Teams leverage their members’ time and talent with a delicate balance between dividing task labor by individual, and simultaneously cooperating collectively for task completion. Committees, in contrast, often are organizational black holes. They insatiably consume human time and energy expended pointlessly and endlessly until the life force has been sucked out of every last committee member — many of whom found themselves working in ways that were either redundant to the efforts of other committee members or in opposition to the work done by their committee colleagues. Or both. In a true team, every member is necessary. The team could not function without the participation of every member.

Teams track their progress toward clear goals in service to well-defined objectives. Committees perpetually engage in basically aimless activity masquerading as work with little to no indications of achievement (or even progress).

Teams celebrate their accomplishments and deconstruct their failures to learn from them. Committees often aren’t sure what they’ve accomplished. If there are successes from committee work, committee members often jostle tirelessly and selfishly for credit. Any committee failures spur superhuman efforts by all committee members to lay blame on every other member of the committee.

Teams work. Committees pretend to.
My Views: To some extent the objective of teams and committees itself lay the foundation of the nature of functioning .Teams have a clear defined role and share the ownership of achieving goal whereas the committees may be formed with a very different set of objectives to begin with.