Wake up

Wake up and smell the coffee, The imperative of teams, by Simon Mac Rory, LID Publishing 2018

If the CEO of JetBlue said this book is an "essential book for leaders..." than it, despite its awkward title, is worth a look. Mac Rory says that an organization with a defined team strategy can drive a 10 - 20% improvement in effectiveness, productivity and impact on the bottom line. At the top level, the author offers guidelines to generate a corporate team strategy that specifically shows why and how teams are deployed, and how they are supported. The strategic plan for teams covers differences in team types - traditional, project, teaming work groups and virtual teams - and how to select their members.

How are we doing?

To test the results of your organization's team strategy work, the book includes a Team Diagnostic Profiler to measure the effectiveness of teams and their ongoing development to improve performance. The Team Diagnostic Profiler enables assessment of performance along six key dimensions:

1. Goals - Team members need to be clear about goals and how their role contributes to their achievement

2. Leadership - Behavior has to help members achieve goals and encourage participation.

3. Relationships - Effective teams require good communications and trust between members

4. Process - There needs to be appropriate planning and evaluation techniques to build an organic team

5. Climate - Conflict has to be managed an recognition provided for different levels of performance to generate a positive climate

6. Structure - Team members must be organized appropriately and have the skills to achieve their goals.

The author reminds us that the workforce has changed - millennials, who account for 40% of the workforce and who by 2025 will account for 75%, have very different needs from earlier generations, and Mac Rory posits that those needs can best be met through teams. Millennials are looking for more flexibility and connections

In addition to the very useful Team Diagnostic Profiler, each chapter ends with a "coffee quip," a quick and memorable closing statement to make the chapter stick, i.e.:

The virtual team is the Robusta coffee bean of the team world. Yes, it is a variation of the traditional team or project team (so still coffee, still a team) but, in reality, it is a completely different breed and this must be recognized. The Robusta bean tastes different and has nearly double the caffeine. The green bean of Robusta is also about half the cost of the Arabica green bean. For sure, the virtual team is the Robusta bean of the team world.

Patricia E. Moody

FORTUNE magazine "Pioneering Woman in Mfg"

IndustryWeek IdeaXchange Xpert

A Mill Girl at Blue Heron Journal, on-line resource for business thought-leaders and decision-makers, pemoody@aol.com, patriciaemoody@gmail.com, tricia@patriciaemoody.com,