Business is a complex invention of man which is typically explained and understood through the use of metaphor. The metaphoric representations are typically based on more natural and simpler concepts. Typically when describing teams and teamwork, the metaphor tend toward depicting either games or battles. These representations are often born from the role that the leader takes when developing the team, either a coach or a general, or somewhere in-between. Leadership taking one role or the other can create completely different business cultures.
You may have worked in a business where the leadership are like coaches and the team are like the players. You're told to keep your eye on the ball, encouraged to gain ground against opponents, and when you're thrown a curve ball you can turn it around and hit it out of the ball park. The leaders will have a game plan which will include tactics of how you play the game of business. Everyone will team together for the common goal of winning the game, utilising the strengths of the players and encouraging and developing those with weaknesses.
On the other hand you may have worked somewhere where it feels like the leadership are generals and you're a trooper. In this scenario it is often more a case of doing what you're told, following orders. You'll hear about people gathering ammunition for meetings, the aim being to gain ground against others, and about ideas being shot down. There may be a war room for conquering pressing business conflicts and forming business strategy. The team exists to win battles by following the strategy and taking no prisoners.
Businesses which echo these metaphors have a lot in common with regard to teamwork. A game really is a kind of battle with the difference being the intent behind it. A battle is life and death where casualties are expected. Games can get rough, but everyone knows it's a game and casualties are uncommon. Both battles and games are about beating the other team, but games are played for fun, and battles are certainly not.
This is worth considering when developing your leadership style. Do you think you'll get more out of your employees if they feel like work is fun, or life and death? Your communication can vividly paint either scenario into the minds of your employees and the culture of the business.