What makes a great team? Ken Haman looks into the subject for OnWallStreet.com.

He says that many business use personality tests and assessments to see whether possible team members will fit in with the rest of the group. However, the executive says that he disagrees with the assumption that team harmony is needed for team success, and that such harmony is built by having people with “complementary personality styles.”

He says that conflict actually usually comes from people thinking that there is unfairness in the team, which especially happens when times are tough. Harmony, he says comes from when teams are successful and distribute rewards on a fairer basis. Thus, he writes, “harmony is evidence of a satisfying experience among team members and within the team as a whole,” while “conflict is a symptom of unfairness.”

Haman says that he believes that “harmony doesn’t create success” but that “success tends to create harmony.” He notes that professional athletes are chosen for teams not for the way their personalities mesh with others, but for their skills. “The quarterback doesn’t care if the wide receiver is an introvert or an extrovert;” he says. “He just cares that the receiver can catch the ball.”

Instead, Haman recommends that executives find people who have the right skills for their team, instead of focusing on the personalities. This involves coming up with a business plan that works, defining what skills are needed, finding the staff that has those skills, and tracking how people fulfill the goals for the team.

Written by Lisa Swan