chapter one The Team Ideal

A generation ago people didn’t talk about teams. Oh, they existed, but they were conventional, function- bound things. There were accounting teams, finance teams, production teams, and advertising teams—all made of specialists in parallel functions or “silos.” Everyone on a team did pretty much the same thing.

Functional teams spent a lot of time together, and spoke the same functional language. Not having to deal with one another’s “differentness,” functional teams had something of a free ride.

Wow, has a lot changed since then. The conventional silo team is still out there. But it has been crowded out by scores of other kinds of teams.

There are work teams in which everyone has the same skills, but each person ...

Get The New Why Teams Don't Work now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.