Sandra Kay Richardson of the Center for the Study of Work Teams cites fourteen common blunders organizations face when trying to create a team-based, empowered organization (2002). Some of the more noteworthy include:
Assuming teams are for everyone
Lack of planning to implement changes
Lack of customization to fit current organizational culture
Relying entirely on outside consultant
Underestimate money and time needed
Expect immediate results
No long term direction to managers and they fear loss of power
Lack of training managers in new role
The common misconception and the general theme of the above blunders is that throwing a team together is a fix-all for any organization. The above blunders should be taken seriously. An organizational shift to a team-based, empowered organization cannot be accomplished by upper management simply dictating that everyone will be in teams by next week. Planning, education, training, money and time are all needed in order to begin to navigate and put into place such a large organizational change. Dealing with the Situation
When the manager decides to move to a team environment and to push many of the decisions to the lowest possible levels, he is attempting to rid the company of bureaucratic layers of decision making that are not value adding. In other words, he is attempting to create a self-sufficient team-based, empowered organization that can act decisively with upper management's support in order to "to do whatever it takes to accomplish the objectives and implement the plan" (Parker, 1998). The manager championing such a change must first ensure the effort is mobilized up front through diligent planning. It simply will not suffice to demand change for change's sake; rather the needed change must be determined by the end results desired by the company, its employees, its clients and its culture. Arguments to Persuade Managers
"When used effectively and provided with proper...
References: Dionne, S., Yammarino, F., Atwater, L., and Spangler, W. (2004). Transformational leadership and team performance. Journal of Organizational Change Managemen, 17(2), 177. Retrieved August 30, 2006, from http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?index=2&did=634635861&SrchMode=1&sid=1&Fmt=4&VInst=PROD&VType=PQD&RQT=309&VName=PQD&TS=1156982257&clientId=65562
Kirkman, B. and Rosen, B. (1999). Beyond self-management: Antecedents and consequences of team empowerment, 42(1), 58. Retrieved August 30, 2006, from http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?index=11&did=39364908&SrchMode=1&sid=1&Fmt=4&VInst=PROD&VType=PQD&RQT=309&VName=PQD&TS=1156984568&clientId=65562
Nahavandi, A. (2006). The art and science of leadership. (4th edition) Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Parker, G. (1998). Cross-Functional Teams: Working With Allies, Enemies and Other Strangers. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Richardson, S. (February 6, 2002). Classic Blunders in Re-Design: 14 Ways to Turn Your Organization into a Mess. Retrieved August 29, 2006, from http://dept.lamar.edu/industrial/Underdown/eng_mana/Classic_Blunders_In_Teams.htm
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