Wisdom of Teams: Creating the High-performance Organization

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9780077094577: Wisdom of Teams: Creating the High-performance Organization

To discover what differentiates various levels of team performance, where and how teams work best, and how to enhance their effectiveness, the authors talked with hundreds of people involved in more than fifty different teams. The "Wisdom of Teams" includes stories and case examples involving real people and situations and shows why teams will be the primary building blocks of company performance in the future. Commitment to performance goals and common purpose is more important to team success than team building Opportunities for teams exist in all parts of the organisation. Successful team leaders do not fit an ideal profile and are not necessarily the most senior people on the team.

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About the Author:

Jon R. Katzenbach is Founder and Senior Sponsor of the Katzenbach Center at PwC Strategy& (US) LLC. Since the 1980s, he has been recognized as a global leader and expert in leadership, teaming, and culture.

Douglas K. Smith is widely acknowledged to be among the world’s leading management innovators and thinkers. His books include On Value and Values, Fumbling the Future, Make Success Measurable, and Taking Charge of Change.

From Publishers Weekly:

The importance of teams has become a cliche of modern business theory, but few have a clear idea of what it means. In this new edition of their best-selling primer, Katzenbach and Smith try to impart some analytical rigor to the concept. Drawing on their experience as management consultants and a plethora of case studies at companies like Burlington Northern and Motorola, they cover such topics as the optimal size of teams, coping with turnover in team personnel and nurturing "extraordinary teams" rather than "pseudo-teams." Reacting against the touchy-feely interpersonal bent of discourse on teams, they emphasize hard-nosed principles of "performance, focus, and discipline," over the softer concerns of "communication, openness and 'chemistry.'" Teams, they argue, gel and achieve not by developing "togetherness," but by tackling and surmounting specific "outcome-based" challenges ("eliminate all late deliveries...within 90 days" rather than the vaguer "develop a plan for improving customer satisfaction."). Some of the authors' recommendations are reasonably precise and practical, but too many are nebulous truisms ("keep the purpose, goals, and approach relevant and meaningful") or weighed down by turgid consultant-ese ("integrating the performance goals of formal, structural units as well as special ad hoc group efforts becomes a significant process design challenge"). The case studies are better written, but it's not clear that these inspiring anecdotes of team triumph add up to a systematic doctrine. The book leaves the impression that teams ultimately just have to learn by doing.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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ISBN 10: 0077094573 ISBN 13: 9780077094577
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