In his book, Waterman argues for the creation of a new organizational form “that challenges the bureaucracy in order to embrace the new.” Waterman says it can be as simple as a few people getting together to do business over a cup of coffee. It appears most often, however, in the form of a short-term, multi-disciplinary team that can “break with tradition, cut across old boundaries, and…go after an opportunity.”
It is what Warren Bennis, in Managing the Dream, calls an “adaptive, problem-solving, temporary system of diverse specialists linked together…in an organized flux.” When done well, these teams of varying sizes and shapes can help make change happen. Their power comes from their ability to reach across traditional lines or organizational boundaries and bring different disciplines together to solve problems.
Being part of a high-performance team can be one of the greatest experiences you will ever have. Being part of a floundering team can be one of the worst. You can help make the difference for your teams through careful selection, targeted training, and appreciative management. Don’t wait for the next great team to just happen. Help make it happen.