The Function of Teams at Whole Foods: Applying the Team Performance Assessment Instrument

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The function of teams at Whole Foods: Applying the team performance assessment instrument Introduction One of the most successful companies of recent memory is Whole Foods, the all-organic grocery store that caters to customers who are concerned about the 'sourcing' of their foods. A cornerstone of Whole Foods' success is its use of team leadership to enable the organization to fulfill its functions and mission. This paper will evaluate how Whole Foods uses teams to advance its interests and create a positive corporate culture. Functional structure Whole Foods designs its teams to serve the goals of the organization. At Whole Foods, "the team, not the hierarchy, is the defining unit of activity. Each of the 43 stores is an autonomous profit center composed of an average of 10 self-managed teams produce, grocery, prepared foods, and so on with designated leaders and clear performance targets. The team leaders in each store are a team; store leaders in each region are a team; the company's six regional presidents are a team" (Fishman 1996). The emphasis on quality and specialty foods is reinforced by segmentation according to function, allowing different units to establish expertise and is designed to encourage specialization. Each team has a set of distinct performance goals which encourages specificity and focus. It also creates the ability for teams to fulfill short-term goals germane to their team efforts. This boosts morale, versus only focusing on the big picture
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