Wednesday, July 26, 2006

How Not to Form a Team

David Maister on how not to form a team. An excerpt:

"The best way to form teams in a business is not to say: ‘you guys are in the same department, therefore you will cooperate with each other', because giving orders like that is just not very effective in human terms.

"However, if you go to your people and say: ‘I've got the following six projects that need to be done superbly well in the next year, does anyone want to volunteer for any of them?', then the fact that people all joined in to the same team and put themselves in voluntarily is much more likely to get them to want to get on with each other - they self-selected to be interested in similar things.

"The trick of it is to unbundle the larger purpose of the total department and turn it into short-term, temporary projects, asking for volunteers, and then at the end of it, when the project is done, you redesign the next set of challenges for the business."

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