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Leadership And Team Management

Layne McDonald. Ph.D.

The growth and development of people are the highest callings of leadership. - Harvey S. Firestone

It sets up An Appropriate Organizational Structure by considering the strategic direction and aims of the organization, considering the desired organizational culture, finding the critical activity areas of the organization, and deciding on a proper organizational structure. This is an essential first step. Before any changes or new directions can be taken, the leaders must decide on an organizational structure that will support the strategic direction and corporate culture they will aim to create. The management team’s network that is then put in place will be compatible with the structure and contribute to developing the desired culture.

Deciding On a Management Teams Structure, by; planning a network of management teams to match the requirements found in the earlier activity; agreeing on individual team structure; agreeing on personal team aims, roles, responsibilities, size, location, and resource needs; finding team member and team leader profiles for each management team. The planning will supply the template for the new structure when implemented. This planning is best conducted as a factual, needs-based exercise. The role of the team, and its aims, should be allowed to dictate the size, location, team leader, and team member profiles. Resource implications should be dealt with after the structure has been agreed upon. Existing and potential personnel should be assessed against these only at the next stage when the teams are populated.

Option 1: Assessing Existing Teams by finding existing management teams; analyzing the aims of current groups; evaluating the performance of existing teams; evaluating the performance of individual team leaders; comparing each management team profile with the newly defined requirements. In many, if not most, organizations, this will be necessary due to legislative constraints and-or ethical considerations. However, the existing teams are unlikely to be proper, other than in part, and the outcomes of this action will find what is likely to be significant gaps and changes that will need to be made to match the new requirements.

Option 2: Removing Existing Teams by obliterating the old structure. This choice is the most effective, a total reengineering, but the most radical. If possible, this is the better choice. The organization can make the changes needed to match the new strategic direction and move forward unhindered by partially or unsuitable management teams appropriately.

Implementing The New Management Teams Network, by providing information about the changes to all affected – in most organizations, this will mean at all levels and both internally and externally; selecting team leaders and team members; establishing the teams in their locations; training each group in its new role, responsibilities, objectives, and operational activities; providing appropriate resources for each team group; launching the new network into active service. This needs to be managed in a critical stage as a significant change activity and a substantial project. An executive-level manager should be appointed to oversee the changes. Communication with all stakeholders, who will be many, at many levels, and both internal and external to the organization, will need to be managed carefully.

They are implementing A Management Team Performance System by designing a rigorous team performance appraisal system, checking the performance of individual teams, and taking proper corrective action when necessary. Organizations run an effective employee appraisal system, usually only for operational employees and junior managers. Middle and Senior managers must also be appraised regularly, ideally more often than active employees, as the manager’s actions usually have a more significant negative or positive impact. This line of thinking must also be applied to management teams because of the influence and impact of the group's collective decisions and actions. The organization's leaders must be continuously aware of the performance levels of their management teams and keep or raise that performance level as necessary. Implementing a performance appraisal and continuous improvement approach to the network of management teams is vital. In the first stages of the group's life, the focus will be on awareness and understanding of the team's aims and finding training and development needs to support new or adjusted roles. As the team grows and matures, the monitoring will focus firstly on the consistency of performance and then on supporting a continuous improvement in that performance. At all stages in the life cycle of each team, performance appraisal must be a regular and visible process.

Network Review and Refresh, by arranging regular reviews of the appropriateness of the management teams’ network; assessing the suitability of each part of the network against newer versions of the strategic aims; evaluating the structure of the network against the current organizational structure and culture; making proper changes to individual components and-or the overall design of the network.

A significant review should be held annually as a vital part of reviewing and adjusting strategies and aims in the annual strategic planning process. At this review point, minor or significant changes should be agreed upon to change the network so that it continues to match the requirements dictated by the refreshed strategic and operational aims. In addition, the condition of the management teams’ network should be an agenda item on at least quarterly executive-level meetings, where corrective action can be decided where necessary.

In Summary: setting up a compatible management team structure is an essential first step in ensuring that the organization’s strategies are implemented successfully. Without a robust network of management teams, proper to the size and complexity of the organization and its strategic aims, the strategic and operational purposes will not be achieved.

Effective management teams are the driving force behind the achievement of dreams. This network cannot be successful if it is weak or flawed. It is the role of the leaders of the organization to ensure that the management teams’ network is strong, dynamic, and focused on achieving its aims, in its parts and collectively.

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