Leadership Teams LO13050

Rol Fessenden (76234.3636@CompuServe.COM)
28 Mar 97 09:58:28 EST

Replying to LO13026 --

Sb: Leadership "Teams" LO13026

Roxanne asks,

"...do companies actually assign strategic initiatives or broad company
goals to a team rather than to a leader (Sr. Executive)? Can you tell me
more about how leadership of the team is handled and about the role of the
Sr. Executive who, prior to the teamwork transformation, would have been
given the assignment? And how is reporting done differently?"

Companies assign strategic initiatives to a team consisting of senior
executives, and one senior executive has overall responsibility for the
team. This recognizes that virtually no strategic initiative can be
accomplished by one functional area, but can only be accomplished through
some amount of cross-functional collaboration.

For example, being in-stock when a catalog arrives in your home requires a
large amount of cooperation among product developers, production managers,
and purchasers or inventory specialists. Having the inventory align with
the catalog presentation also requires alignment with the Creative Dept.
Therefore, the task of being in-stock is assigned to a senior executive,
and for this initiative, she will have a number of other senior executives
reporting to her.

In this case, the senior exec assigned to this task would have been
helpless to achieve the task prior to approaching it from a team
perspective. Therefore he or she would be reduced to explaining the
variances. Products not finalized on time, insufficient production
capacity, misalignment of catalog presentation with the buying strategy,
and so on. The senior exec is never penalized, because these are all
legitimate reasons that are outside that person's responsibility.

In the new environment, there is no excuse. For purposes of being
in-stock, these people report to this particular leader. The team may
choose to sacrifice in-stock for some reason, but they can only do it as a
team. If they choose to do so, they can explain the variance as a
deliberate decision for some business reason. In reality, there is almost
no good business reason.

This requires cooperation, and a certain mentality. Many senior execs may
get to their position through competing effectively, and some claim they
will have a hard time in this new environment. I think not provided the
leader makes it clear that the only road to success is through
collaboration. These people are survivors, and they will learn the new
rules quickly.


Rol Fessenden 76234.3636@compuserve.com

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>