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Assignment 3 and 4

There are two case incidents. One is on teamwork, the other is on leadership. You are expected to use what we have learnt in class to answer the questions (50-100 words for each). Due on 16th Week (Dec.27), not the day of final exam.

Case Incident 1

Teamwork: One Company’s Approach to High Performance

At ICU Medical Inc., teams haven’t always been the answer. A maker of medical devices, the San Clemente, California company was founded in 1984 by current chief executive officer Dr. George Lopez. At first, most of the major decisions were made by Lopez. Business was good – so good, in fact – that the company was ready for a public offering by the early 1990s. The company’s products were in high demand, but dealing with that demand “was an overwhelming task for one entrepreneur CEO,” states Lopez.

A solution to dealing with the increasing growth came to Lopez while watching his son play hockey. During a game, the opposing team had a star player who dominated his teammates and tried to make most of the plays himself. His son’s team, however, worked together as a group and overwhelmed the star player. Lopez clearly saw that “the team was better than one player.” He decided to reorganize his company to rely on teams that would not merely share in the decision-making process, but instead would have full autonomy to make their own decisions – setting their own meeting times, assigning their own tasks, and creating their own deadlines, and even deciding whether to form a team in the first place.

At that time, his company employed around 100 employees, but they weren’t used to making decisions for themselves. Lopez put his new plan in place, telling his employees to form teams to come up with ideas to handle the increasing demand. At first, it didn’t work as expected. Angered by the new team-based approach, the chief financial officer of the company quit. The new teams weren’t faring well either. According to Lopez, “nothing was...