Why learn about group dynamics within organizations?
One day, Clarence Avery, lead developer of the assembly line; Peter Martin, head of assembly; and Charles Sorenson, Martin’s assistant, got together with their CEO, Mr. Henry Ford, to talk about the efficiency of automotive assembly and how, if they did some group work and threw some suggestions on the table, they might be able to make their product affordable to their employees.
They thought about how, if they refined their production a little bit, they could lower the cost of automobile production. If they lowered the cost of production, they could lower the cost of the automobile itself! And if they paid their employees more, their employees could afford to buy their product. Then, they would sell more automobiles.
Oh, and then, they decided to give employees two days off rather than just one. That way they had time to enjoy their automobiles, and Ford Motor Company would attract the best workers.
When the right people get together in a group, and that group is managed well, an organization stands to profit—and sometimes the world is changed and the weekend, as we know it today, is invented.
The day an entrepreneur decides to start a company, he’s an individual out there making deals, making decisions and maybe even changing the world. The day he hires others into his company, he’s suddenly dealing with groups and group dynamics. Two can be a crowd, or two heads can be better than one, and that all depends on a manager’s understanding of how groups work and how to best use them to create solutions for an organization.
Henry Ford knew how to motivate and even agitate his team toward greatness. What if he hadn’t understood the potential of groups? Where would we be today?