Other Organizing Entities
As I noted earlier, there are other approaches to collaboration that role model leaders can ind very useful. These should be absorbed as integral parts of a high-performance work system. If used effectively, each has the potential to improve the vitality of the organization's people.
A core team is a coordinating team for a related group of other teams with all the attributes of a high-performance team. Each member of the core team is a leader – often a role model leader – and each is the accountable leader for the related teams. A core team is important for large strategic projects in which a number of teams must all be coordinated to achieve an overall goal. The core team's purpose is to ensure the effectiveness of each of the related teams so that the overall goal of the strategic project is achieved.
An example is the core team at the very top of a company: the CEO, CFO, CTO, and so on. It includes all of the people who are accountable for developing their own leadership competence and leadership competence of the enterprise and those who are accountable for setting the company's overall direction to achieve the company's aspiration. There can be core teams at all levels of the organization: large engineering projects may beneit from the direction of a core team; dealing with strategic customers may require the attention of a core team; and so on.
A group is not the same thing as a team. A working group comprises a number of individual contributors headed by a leader-manager who has a speciic goal and who has formed the group to work on meeting that goal. The leader-manager is focused on the goal; the members of the group are focused on their individual contributions, which are coordinated by the leader, often in an authoritative, albeit purposeful manner.
As we learned in part two's discussion of leadership styles, the authoritative style can be useful when a crisis develops or a special situation demands
it. The role model leader may sometimes revert to this style from a more collaborative style for a speciic purpose. A crisis often demands that the role model leader get speciic work done, and that leader may need to recruit people with speciic competencies in order to achieve his goals. So he will form a working group, explain the crisis or special situation, and clearly explain his goals as well as his need for help in reaching them. The role model leader should, of course, explain that his newly adopted authoritative style is speciic to the crisis at hand and that it does not mark a change in his dominant style.
A working group often develops into a team later on when the moment is right.
This is an organizational network dedicated to improving the capabilities of others. Such networks are important components of a high-performance work system. They are designed to improve functional skills across the organization.
Role model leaders from all functional areas of the organization form these networks to improve the competencies on which sustainable growth relies. These leaders understand that improvements in value-add demand functional competence. They also understand that high functional competence enhances the organization's vitality.
So within the company, as part of the high-performance work system, inance, marketing, manufacturing, and research – indeed, all the major functional people and leaders – will form and participate in functionalspeciic competency networks. This concept will extend to the highly specialized functional areas within each of the larger networks. For example, the manufacturing competency network will act as a core team for a maintenance network, a technology network, a safety expertise network, and so on.
This organizational entity was developed in DuPont Canada as an important part of our developmental learning approach and culture. It is an interdependent structuring that complements the competency networking and the high-performance business teaming. It is, in fact, the natural interdependent reconcile of the two. The Virtual Company idea is a further means to generate more business productivity, improve the quality of the company's offerings to stakeholders, and enhance the service to those
stakeholders. For example, in DuPont Canada we had a number of these organizational processes; one was the Sales and Marketing Virtual Company. It was composed of sales and marketing functional representatives from all the various high-performance business teams. The goal of the Virtual Company was to work across the high-performance business teams in a way that utilized and sought synergies and novel customer solutions. For example, paint technology and products were coupled with packaging ilms technology and products to envisage a unique offering to “colour” metal parts – and to increase the value-add for the whole company.