Discipline of Teams

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» THE HIGH-PERFORMANCE ORGANIZATION BEST OF HBR 1993 It w o n t surprise anyone to find an article on teams by Jon Katzenbach and Douglas Smith figuring into an issue devoted to high performance. While Peter Drucker may have been the first to point out that a team-based organization can be highly effective, Katzenbach and Smith's work made it possible for companies to implement the idea. In this groundbreaking 1993 article, the authors say that if managers want tomakebetterdecisionsaboutteamsjthey must be clear about what a team is. They define a team as"a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, set of performance goals, and approach for which they hold themselves mutually…show more content…
We found that there is a basic discipline that makes teams work. We also found that teams and good performance are inseparable: You cannot have one without the other. But people use the word "team" so loosely that it gets in the way of learning and applying the discipline that leads to good performance. For managers to make better decisions about whether, when, or how to encourage and use teams, it is important to be more precise about what a team is and what it isn't. Most executives advocate teamwork. And they should. Teamwork represents a set of values that encourage listening and responding constructively to views Not All Groups Are Teams: How to Tell the Difference Working Group > Strong, clearly focused leader > Individual accountability > The group's purpose is the same as the broader organizational mission > Individual work products > Runs efficient meetings > Measures its effectiveness indirectly by its influence on others (such as financial performance of the business) > Discusses, decides, and delegates Team > Shared leadership roles > Individual and mutual accountability > Specific team purpose that the team itself delivers > Collective work products > Encourages open-ended discussion and active problem-solving meetings > Measures performance directly by assessing collective work products >
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