The value of TeamWork

The case “Duke-Nus Graduate medical school: Educational transplant” shows that working in team can be more challenging but also more efficient as a method of learning. By this text I will try to clarify the concept of working in team, the importance of it in business and some thoughts about the differences in the working ways between NUS and my school back home.

What working in team really means?

The business dictionary describes it as “The process of working collaboratively with a group of people in order to achieve a goal”. Teamwork implies cooperation between people who know how to value the strengths of each other while minimizing their weaknesses. Trusting the others, believing in their capacities as a team, exploring new aspects, learning how to work with different kind of personalities, focus on establish common goals instead of individual ones, provide constructive opinion and communicate efficiently are substantial points to improve the cohesion of the group. It can take a lot of time and an important level of commitment to form a good team. As we saw in class there’s a model called “The Tuckman Model” that describe the evolution of a successful team in four steps. The first one is “Forming”; the teammates try to know about each other’s by acting politely and testing the limits of tolerance. The second one is “Storming”; people begins to argue and conflicts arise. That’s the moment where they learn how to work with different opinions. The third one is “Norming”; people work efficiently by accepting the difference between them. The final step is “Performing”; that’s the hardest one to achieve because it requires trust between the teammates, and this is the stage where the creative confrontation and innovation-solving problem arise. Effectively, this is a theoretical development and there are different models to describe it as the “The Cog Model”.

Other applications in our lives?

I want to introduce you a video called “What Marriage Teaches About Teamwork” that can be link with the concept of teamwork. As you can see the expectations to be successful in a marriage are quite the same as for a team at work. We can also make a link between the Tuckman Model and the different steps with the beginning of a relationship.

Why teamwork is so important?

In business, teamwork is substantial considering that your value in the market depends on your capacities to be innovative and your proficiency and that depends on the capacity of your team to excel. That concept is a crucial part to be successful in your career if we considerate that the people in the team need to work well together but also work at their best to surpass themselves. Teamwork increases the responsibilities of each other as you don’t want to disappoint your teammates for who you have a lot of respect. Also that increases your motivation as you can accomplish and celebrate the achievement together step by step. As for my own opinion, I think that this manner of working brings people at their best performance and forces you to be a better person. That makes you learn how to work with different types of personalities and how to be open to different culture and manners of thinking.


As an exchange student, I can tell the difference that I saw between the learning methods from my University in Montreal to NUS. In fact, our method is more theoretical; the class is about presenting theory from the book that is going to be use for the final exam. At NUS, the courses focus on an Asian perspective, team discussion and analysis, cases and I notice that manner of learning brings more motivation and enthusiasm from the students. I think the case of Duke-Nus shows the benefits of mixing the two different method of learning from USA and Singapore. Maybe when the efficiency of this program will be proven, others school around the world will review their methods. Do you think that the students would improve more with a learning method that emphases on teamwork and group discussion like at NUS?

By Stéfanie Bernard

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