Teamwork like a “Body”

What type of team is this and what are the three elements of effective teams?

David Newton of writes about “Jimmie Johnson’s Sprint Cup team on what they call “thrash day,” a time when crew members run around the garage in organized chaos to switch the No. 48 car from race trim to qualifying trim and back to race trim between trips through NASCAR’s inspection stations.”  He goes on to describe a Problem-solving team that is frantically in a performance stage to get a wrecked race car back on the track to score valuable points in a championship series title race.  There were elements of a Cross-functional team with “several from other Hendrick Motorsports teams as well, such as Jason Burdett, the car chief for Jeff Gordon”.  It may be argued that there are elements of a Self-directed team setting their own goals but the problem at hand didn’t leave time for much pre-planning as evident in the statement “Man, they were doing everything they could.  From the smallest job of running parts and pieces from the hauler to the largest of re-welding major components, everyone pitched in.”

Of particular illustration in this case of a Sprint Cup Racing team is how Problem-solving (disaster response) teams e.g. ER nurses and doctors, Firefighters, Rescue workers or SWAT teams coalesce to become a functioning unit with clarity of purpose and filling in where there are gaps regardless of rank, title or pay grade.  It speaks volumes to me in a Christian sense with the Spirit gifting individuals uniquely for service to Kingdom objectives without the regard for worldly categories.

The Johnson Sprint Cup team Newton writes about has enhanced team effectiveness in three primary components that are detailed in Figure 12-1 (Phillips).  First, the product they produced – rebuilding a wrecked race car to finish the race; second, improved ability to work together effectively that is shown through the third component – the team’s experience for member satisfaction.


Newton, D. (2009, November 14). Teamwork fuels Jimmie Johnson and the No. 48 Chevrolet in Sprint Cup – ESPN. Retrieved July 17, 2013, from

Phillips, J., & Gully, S. M. (2012). Organizational behavior: Tools for success. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.