Rol's comments call to mind once again the critical need for =
problem-solving teams to contract with sponsor and facilitator and team =
members about the mission, metrics and means for the task.
By setting standards for team behavior, organizations increase the =
chances for successful outcome (as measured by the team-established =
metric and the less tangible group satisfaction among team members).
In my role as principal trainer for team work in my company, I cannot =
stress enough the role of ground rules in team outcome. Creating a =
dynamic set of member-generated ground rules for BEHAVIORS has proven =
over and over again to be essential to good performance.
Ground rules and a team charter have as a backdrop the overall =
organizational strategy (the Hoshins, if you like). By cascading down =
into the organization the rationale for action, team members feel a link =
and a commitment. Within my own manufacturing organization of 1,500, =
this principles dominate. It wasn't always like that. In fact, my 85 =
year old company just learned these principles less than two years ago. =
But the results have been remarkable.
The first reason people in my organization come to work is to turn =
customer requirements into fairly-priced, quality goods and services. =
That's it. We ask: How is any aspect of our work tied to this? And tied =
to customer retention? And tied to return on assets? Customers pay our =
wages, not the owners of our company.
The process of achieving team goals is not easy. We fall into traps, we =
crash. But most of the time now we support positive team results which =
build on previous work.
Hierarchy, in this narrow sense, is the process of distinctly defined =
problem-solving or process planning teams small in size. By using team =
contracts/charters and by establishing ground rules, we increase the =
chances for success.
Barry Mallis Total Quality Resource Manager MARKEM corporation Keene, NH e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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