The sheer complexity of business today means that no one person can know it all or be in command of it all. With the global marketplace, the importance and reliance on technology, and the imperative for innovation, cross-functional teams are the only way to develop viable business solutions. Learning to be a contributing member of a team is so critical that Carter Cast, former CEO of Walmart.com, deems it one of only two reasons for career derailment - the other being a lack of self-awareness.
There is a misguided assumption that teaming comes naturally.Oftentimes organizations provide team building events, such as experiential activities (rope climbing) or retreats (three days off-site) which are designed to enhance interpersonal relationships. But these types of events are not related to the work itself. Teaching individuals how to work together as a team is a different outcome (see Team Capabilities, below) and requires learning team skills in the context of conducting team work. Being a contributing member of a team is as much about the personal contribution of one's role, as the functional role.