A Team of Leaders

Empowering Every Member to Take Ownership, Demonstrate Initiative, and Deliver Results

A Team of Leaders

Authors: Paul Gustavson, Stewart Liff
Pub Date: March 2014
Print Edition: $19.95
Print ISBN: 9780814438350
Page Count: 240
Format: Paper or Softback
e-Book ISBN: 9780814434086

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No matter how many good people you gather, most workplace teams settle into the same old rut. Once the initial enthusiasm dissipates, they become little more than order takers, satisfied with so-so results.

A Team of Leaders offers a completely new way to approach the team experience and an empowering formula for improving performance. At the core of the team dilemma is a little-known truth: It’s not the people who need to change but the design of the team that needs an overhaul.

By improving the core design components—the systems, the processes, knowledge management, and visual management—you’ll get far better results. Unmotivated teams will be transformed into energized groups of employees who take responsibility for long-term outcomes.

It all starts with the Five-Stage Team Development Model, which outlines a distinct set of characteristics that teams exhibit as they move from traditional Stage 1, leader-directed teams to self-managed Stage 5 teams full of knowledgeable people who think and act like leaders. The book supplies the tools, processes, and principles for putting them on this path to reinvention. It explains how to:

• Incorporate the Team Design Model into your plans and recognize the importance of choosing the right team structure, information systems, people systems, and more

• Design integrated processes that support leadership growth, from on-boarding new members to building capabilities to managing disengagement

• Adapt a Value Creation Tool that pinpoints the contribution each team member makes each day—and highlights the urgency of everyone pulling together

• Capture and quickly disseminate the key knowledge that teams need to become effective, self-managing units

• Use visual management techniques to highlight critical organizational requirements, keep people focused on goals, improve information sharing, and more

As the authors point out: “Teams are perfectly designed to get the results that they get.” Lackadaisical design brings lackluster outcomes. But rigorous design can transform a meh team into a motivated group that continually strives for outstanding performance—a team of leaders.

Paul Gustavson is an organizational design consultant and the founder of Organization Planning & Design, Inc. (OPD), which helps companies around the world create and sustain high-performance teams. He is the former chair of the Marriott School of Management’s OB/HR Advisory Board and coauthor of The Power of Living by Design and Running into the Wind.

Stewart Liff is an HR and visual management expert and the president and CEO of the consulting company Stewart Liff & Associates. During his long career with the Department of Veterans Affairs, his office was selected for Vice President Al Gore’s first Hammer Award for Reinventing Government because it successfully used the principles described in this book. He is the author of five books, including Managing Government Employees and Managing Your Government Career.

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