Ben & Jerry’s : Team Development Intervention

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Ben & Jerry’s (A) : Team Development Intervention
Questions 1
Team building is typically used in OD to loosen up an over-organized system that is too rigid and bureaucratic. In this case, team building was aimed at providing structure to an under-organized system. (1) In doing a diagnosis, what factors are important to consider in determining whether a company or team is over- or under- organized? A company will face a constant struggle to avoid the extremes of under-organizing and over-organizing. All service providers have a built-in tendency to get out of balance organizationally on one side or the other. In the under-organized company, its leaders struggle largely with efficiency: how to get things done. Due to inadequate organizing, company leaders find it difficult to pull the right "levers" and push the right "buttons" to make the organization work. Signs of under-organization include the following:

* Staff and administrators are unsure which activities they can delegate and to whom they can delegate; * Members are not sure where they can best serve and "plug in"; * A major expenditure of time and effort is required to get programs adopted and implemented; * The work load is unevenly distributed—some members and leaders are overworked while others are left out entirely; * Leaders are slow to discern and respond to the needs of members; * Members are only dimly aware of congregational goals and not well informed about daily events; * The company experiences significant overlapping of programs and consequent duplication of effort;

A company unbalanced by too much organization is challenged by effectiveness: what things should be done. Unlike the under-organized non-profit, the over-organized company can move efficiently in getting things done.

Work is smoothly delegated, job descriptions are followed, and committees deliberate; however, leaders soon find themselves in a quandary over what priorities, goals, and strategy. The problem comes from the key shortcoming of over-organization: inadequate organizational feedback. The very same mechanisms that organize company activities (committees, formal programs, job descriptions, employment of specialized staff, etc.) can also damage two-way communication between its leaders and operations staff. In under-organized non-profits, leaders often sometimes overwhelmed with administrative challenges. In over-organized companies, leaders can become isolated from much of the organization because of elaborate structure, specialized duties, and numerous committee responsibilities. Isolation of leaders can all too easily produce a "we-know-what’s-best-for-you" mentality, as well-organized committees and task groups develop a company policy with little input from the grass-roots membership level. Expectations sometimes develop for leaders to "run the company" for its members.

Additional characteristics of the over-organized service organization are: * Reliance on written, rather than face-to-face, communication; * Communication gaps between programs and lack of interaction between leaders ("specialization barriers"); * Meetings are carefully orchestrated with minimal staff participation--something done to members rather than something members do; * Planned programming dominates organizational life with little room for spontaneity. * Leaders are valued primarily for how well they perform their specialized functions rather than for whom they are; * It could have a negative effect on the company if not done properly; * Could result in rapid change that the company is not currently positioned to do, either staff or financially; * It could give the company the information they have needed for improvement and growth;

(2) What are the implications for planning an OD intervention? * It could have a negative effect on the company if not done properly; * Could result in rapid change that the company is not currently...
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