Between the subjects of the last two chapters, goal setting and decision making, is an enormous crevasse, into which teams fall, then fester and stink up the joint. This is the area of boundary management—or in the case of team failure, mismanagement.
Empowerment is a form of decision making not mentioned in the last chapter because it involves individual, not team decisions. Yet it is probably the most important kind of deciding that occurs on teams.
Here’s the deal: Organizations create teams to achieve certain goals. They may tell the teams, usually quite vaguely, that they are “empowered” to some degree to do whatever is necessary to achieve the goal.
Or they may not.
Either way, the team has been ...