In the knowledge economy, teams are the principle means by which work gets done and organizational value is created. In this groundbreaking book, Harvard Business School professor Amy Edmondson draws on her 20 years of research on teams in a variety of organizational settings to show how and why organizational success or failure is dependent on a team's ability to "team"--to learn and adapt to their environment and to each other. Using illustrative examples from such leading organizations as Intermountain Healthcare, Prudential, Toyota, IDEO, the IRS, and both Cincinnati and Minneapolis Children's Hospitals, the author describes the basic teaming activities and conditions that determine how work gets done, how leaders help make it happen, and how a safe interpersonal environment frees up people to focus on innovation. Throughout the book, Edmondson's guidelines offer a supportive framework for understanding and responding to the dynamics of collective learning. Designed as a practical resource, the book is filled with ideas, solutions, and strategies appropriate for all types and sizes of organizations. Teaming is broken into three parts so that leaders and practitioners can easily find topics and identify the core activities that fuel teaming efforts. Part One answers basic questions about teaming, such as: How does it work? What does it take for people to learn how to team? What do people do when teaming? How does teaming produce organizational learning? Part Two looks at four leadership actions that enable teaming and learning, providing an up-close look at how people work together in a wide variety of organizational contexts. Part Three shows how to implement teaming on an organizational level and offers three case studies that examine different potential learning outcomes, including process improvement, problem solving, and innovation. Teaming shows how any organization can figure out how to learn in order to remain competitive and relevant in today's complex and global organizational landscape. New breakthrough thinking in organizational learning, leadership, and change Continuous improvement, understanding complex systems, and promoting innovation are all part of the landscape of learning challenges today's companies face. Amy Edmondson shows that organizations thrive, or fail to thrive, based on how well the small groups within those organizations work. In most organizations, the work that produces value for customers is carried out by teams, and increasingly, by flexible team-like entities. The pace of change and the fluidity of most work structures means that it's not really about creating effective teams anymore, but instead about leading effective teaming. Teaming shows that organizations learn when the flexible, fluid collaborations they encompass are able to learn. The problem is teams, and other dynamic groups, don't learn naturally. Edmondson outlines the factors that prevent them from doing so, such as interpersonal fear, irrational beliefs about failure, groupthink, problematic power dynamics, and information hoarding. With Teaming, leaders can shape these factors by encouraging reflection, creating psychological safety, and overcoming defensive interpersonal dynamics that inhibit the sharing of ideas. Further, they can use practical management strategies to help organizations realize the benefits inherent in both success and failure. Presents a clear explanation of practical management concepts for increasing learning capability for business results Introduces a framework that clarifies how learning processes must be altered for different kinds of work Explains how Collaborative Learning works, and gives tips for how to do it well Includes case-study research on Intermountain healthcare, Prudential, GM, Toyota, IDEO, the IRS, and both Cincinnati and Minneapolis Children's Hospitals, among others Based on years of research, this book shows how leaders can make organizational learning happen by building teams that learn.
Amy C. Edmondson is the Novartis Professorof Leadership and Management at the Harvard Business School, where she teaches coursesin leadership, organizational learning, andoperations management in the MBA andExecutive Education programs.