answer both questions with detail Image transcription text New Organizational Structures: Teeming with Teams “Years ago, people just kind of did their tasks in front
answer both questions with detail Image transcription text New Organizational Structures: Teeming with Teams “Years ago, people just kind of did their tasks in front of them. Work was much more about what I did to accomplish something. Now it’s
much more about who did I work with so we could accomplish things together." These are the word of Hugh Welsh, an executive for the
North American branch of Royal DSM, a global science-based company active in the areas of health and nutrition. Welsh is the general
counsel for Royal DSM, however, he holds several other job titles in the company, and across his many roles, he has over 100 direct and
indirect employees who report to him. Welsh is not alone, in this regard, because organizations are increasingly organizing work around teams that create many more opportunities
and challenges when it comes to managing workplace relationships. A recent survey of 7,000 managers from over 130 countries conducted
by Deloitte Consulting indicates that over half of the companies surveyed had either restructured work around teams or were in the process
of doing so. The goal of this revolutionary change in the nature of work is to break down former functional silos and increase speed of
operations by creating cross-discipline teams that manage their own group processes with a minimum amount of hierarchical micro-
management. John Chambers, CEO of electronics ﬁrms Cisco notes this need for speed arguing that “we compete against market
transitions, not competitors, and transitions that used to take seven years now take one or two.” However, as anyone who ever worked in agriculture can tell you, silos have their uses, and the same Deloitte survey also indicates m
that only 20% of managers feel they have the teamwork skills necessary to coordinate and motivate all the members of all the teams of which they are a part. Indeed, not everyone has the teamwork skills necessary to work eﬂecﬁvely in these kinds of organizations
even when the structure of inter-team relationships is clear. More critically, however, only 12% of managers working in team-based structures
feel they have a solid understanding of all the social networks embedded in their organization. The ﬂuid nature of these loose networks
makes them hard to understand even for people with strong interpersonal skills, and the process of directly linking people with specialized
talents to every team that needs them runs the risk of creating role overload that prevents any work from being done. Organizations moving to team-based structure are ﬁnding that creating the right balance between effective and timely collaboration, on the
one hand, with the ability to still execute one’s primary job, on the other hand, is easy to mishandle. Hugh Welsh’s skills as a general counsel
makes him potentially valuable to many diﬂerent teams, but he notes that during a recent trip to the company’s headquarters in the
Netherlands, he scrambled from one meeting to the next, mainly making "token appearances” at each before rushing off to more meetings. “I
said to myself, ‘what the hell am I doing? This is crazy. I’m not making meaningful contributions to the business.” QUESTIONS 1. If an employer wants to commit to processes that highlight the role of effective collaboration and teamwork, how could the process of
workﬂow design play out and how might the results be different than if the organization was committing to processes that were aimed at
promoting individual autonomy? 2. If an organization is moving from a more traditional, functional bureaucratic work structure to one that is team-based, what downstream
implications does this have for personnel selection, training, and pay? Are some workers going to be resistant to such changes, and if so,
how can HR overcome this resistance?
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