Chapter 12. Working with Teams

IT'S A NEW WORLD OUT THERE ...

Teams and ...

  • How they engage employees in their organizations.

  • How teams get things done.

  • Ensuring your teams are empowered.

  • Building an organization based on teamwork.

GETTING THINGS DONE WITH TEAMS

If you've been in any organization for more than 10 minutes, you've probably heard about the increasing importance of teams for making things happen. But, what's a team? And why should you bother? Couldn't you get what you need done all by yourself?

A team is two or more people who work together to achieve a common goal—say, creating a new product line, or bringing company policies up to date, or planning the company picnic. Teams work because they don't rely solely on the skills, knowledge, and abilities of just one person. By collecting and focusing the talent of a group of people—employees from different functions and levels of the organization—teams can solve even the most difficult problems. And because the front-line employees who are often tapped for teams are much closer to customers and vendors than are the men and women who manage them, the decisions they make are often better ones.

In this chapter, we'll consider why teams are more popular than ever; the different kinds of teams and how they work; the impact of empowered teams; and how technology is affecting the ways that teams get work done.

THE OLD WAYS ARE FADING FAST

In the good old days, most organizations were designed in a very simple fashion—as strict hierarchies, ...

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