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Working Teams, Teamwork stories


Extract: We live in an age where talented individuals are much sort after by organizations and where tensions are created by increasing workplace diversity, and so the ongoing business - success imperative for high-performing teams is eluding many. It is timely to revisit the basics of dynamic teams that achieve, and the Katzenbach/ Smith model is an excellent startpoint.1 They maintain that team performance is about commitment to a common purpose, blended competencies, shared accountability and responsibility for joint results.

Consider a machine gunner and ammunition- belt feeder together in a trench facing a common enemy. They may not like each other but they are totally interdependent.

In his book Big Blues – the unmaking of IBM 2, Paul Carroll relates the case of a manager called Estridge. Estridge was somewhat of a rebel in IBM terms, nonconformist in his dress, personality and management style and it was he who ushered IBM into the new technology personal computer market in the early 1980s. IBM at the time were focused on mainframe computers, and believed strongly that the PC market was too small to be of any interest to them. Estridge’s committed development team of just 13 members worked long and hard hours against the clock. Against incredible odds and continuous internal flack, their unprecedented counter-culture approach yielded amazing results. They delivered the IBM PC and US $1 billion in the first year.

In both instances, the team-success elements are present. These elements are not about personality types, thinking styles, different roles, culture, beliefs, ethnicity, but rather about how team members behave…………..


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