“TEAMS have become the basic building-blocks of organisations. Recruitment ads routinely call for 'team players'. Business schools grade their students in part on their performance in group projects. Office managers knock down walls to encourage team-building. Teams are as old as civilisation, of course: even Jesus had 12 co-workers. But a new report by Deloitte, “Global Human Capital Trends”, based on a survey of more than 7,000 executives in over 130 countries, suggests that the fashion for teamwork has reached a new high. Almost half of those surveyed said their companies were either in the middle of restructuring or about to embark on it; and for the most part, restructuring meant putting more emphasis on teams.
Companies are abandoning functional silos and organising employees into cross-disciplinary teams that focus on particular products, problems or customers. These teams are gaining more power to run their own affairs. They are also spending more time working with each other rather than reporting upwards. Deloitte argues that a new organisational form is on the rise: a network of teams is replacing the conventional hierarchy.
The fashion for teams is driven by a sense that the old way of organising people is too rigid for both the modern marketplace and the expectations of employees. Technological innovation puts a premium on agility. John Chambers, chairman of Cisco, an electronics firm, says that “we compete against market transitions, not competitors. Product transitions used to take five or seven years; now they take one or two.” Digital technology also makes it easier for people to co-ordinate their activities without resorting to hierarchy. The “millennials” who will soon make up half the workforce in rich countries were reared from nursery school onwards to work in groups.(”Economist Schumpter) http://econ.st/1pvI8yh
Managing them is hard - teams are hampered by problems of co-ordination and motivation that chip away at the benefits of collaboration. That’s where we can help. Wiki-Labs help set an overall direction, cut down on dithering and waffle and minimise ‘group think’. Find out more at www.wiki-solutions.com