References to "team" are everywhere in corporate America, but you rarely hear about legal teams. Why is that? It starts with law school. You need the best grades to get on the law review or obtain that Wall Street job. And then the weeding out process begins the moment you join a law firm. In a firm you are judged on initiative and volume; not whether you are a team player.
It's different in a corporate setting. Budgets are tight, business demands are growing and legal issues are becoming more complex. One way to ease the burden is to use your staff more effectively by investing in team building.
Lastly, pull together the specific team priorities for the year and beyond and make sure everyone understands and agrees on the deliverables for the department, and that everyone understands what they need to do every day to meet those goals. You will be surprised how motivated people will be after playing a role in determining the department's short- and long-term destination.
A word of caution--team building requires a significant investment of time and energy. And it doesn't happen quickly. At least for us, we are already seeing a great return on that investment. What's most exciting is that we still have a long way to go.