Ad Hoc Realignment Teams identifies over a dozen groups that, if properly motivated and channeled, will help people in organizations achieve enhanced individual performance, improved team productivity, increased work group innovation and increased organizational profitability (or effectiveness and efficiency). Below are described the three prime conditions under which these potential teams will do their best work: Significant Organizational Change, Organization Alignment, and Problem Solving at the Grass Roots Level.
A. Prime Conditions for Team Formation. Teams can naturally be formed for any purpose. Experience teaches us that a team formation ought to be designated with a sense of common or shared priority and urgency. Teams are challenged by apparent threats to their organization.
When this happens form a team to do battle with this treat and win! If you want the illusion of progress, form a committee - if you want real progress charter a team! Set it loose on a severe problem with full authority to solve it. Plan on using the team to follow through on its recommendations by implementing them.
There are three apparent conditions under which a team approach ought to be considered:
1. Significant Organizational Change. If something is about to radically change the organization, or if the organization is about to undergo radical change, the team approach to assisting the organization whether the storm of change and survive it is essential. The list of potential applications runs fully from unprecedented growth to the upheaval of downsizing. Sandwiched in between are reorganizations, the radical shifts in top management that often comes with poor organizational performance, or the acquisition by another organization under unfavorable conditions.
2. Organization Alignment. When the elements of an organization do not advance its purpose through cooperative, consistent, and congruent activity such that common direction is confused or absent, strategies for achieving success are often competitive or counterproductive, and work processes are ineffective or inefficient -- the organization has become unaligned. Teams that escalate in active membership and embed a new and more advantageous culture to overcome these shortcomings are the best possible remedy.
3. Problem Solving at the Grass Roots Level. When people at the grass roots level in an organization are directly affected by decisions, they can expect to play a part in that decision making process. Charging an Ad Hoc Team with the responsibility for solving problems, making recommendations, and helping to implement those recommendations does not necessarily alter decision making authority in an organization. It does alter culture favorably and foster organizational learning if done well, however.
B. Team Descriptions. In any organizational change project it is desirable to involve a critical "slice" of the organization. People need and want to be appropriately involved in the decisions that will effect them either directly or through a reasonable representation approach. A cross-section of involved people helps the information flow in both directions, to and from decision makers or those who will influence those decisions. This communications channel is a vital link in implementing well thought out plans for organizational change.
Described below are twelve potential teams that will enhance the effectiveness of any substantial change effort. Naturally, not all teams must be engaged, nor must these be permanent assignments. Under ideal conditions, people ought to be able to volunteer for a team on which they feel their best contribution can be made. In this regard, each team must first be responsible for determining "how" it will achieve the stated purpose.
The common teams and a typical phase during which activation is likely are:
1. Management Team
2. Charter and Documentation
3. Data Collection
4. Organization Development
5. Process Improvement
6. Continuous Cultural Improvement
7. Personnel Actions
7.1 Faces and Spaces
7.2 Transition Teams
7.3 Physical Movement
8. Environmental Scan
11. Future Planning
C. Team Composition. Teams MUST include people with the expertise to make competent decisions, and these people must be engaged in a process that will bring reliable deliberate results. It is additionally important that the team contain a representative segment of the organization. This includes one or more of the "cynics" that will provide the creative tension necessary to assure "tough" questions are answered by the team. We often suggest that membership on a popular team escalate from a smaller group to a larger one. Volunteers are normally higher performers than are those pressed into service. The group size ought to be determined by the magnitude of the task for which the team was established.
D. Authority. Teams are established by competent authority for a specific function. Because members of "teams" share a common priority, the chartered authority must place the purpose for which the team has been chartered above all other routine duties of team members. This priority must be stated in the charter so that members understand their priorities. The Realignment Coordinator must become a focal point for Team chartering.
E. Team Charter. Teams must be chartered in writing by competent authority. The charter must include Outcomes to be achieved, Methods to be used to attain those outcomes, and Resources available or required for the team to attain its stated outcomes. The charter may also include assignments for personnel and their specified role in team activity.
More information concerning each team within the context of each phase is available through the
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