Magazine article Personnel Journal

Five Common Misconceptions about Self-Directed Teams

Magazine article Personnel Journal

Five Common Misconceptions about Self-Directed Teams

Article excerpt

FIVE COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT SELF-DIRECTED TEAMS

1) Self-directed teams do not need leaders, Because the phrase "self-directed teams" conjures up a leaderless group, many organizations mistakenly have assumed that leaders and managers no longer are necessary when the organization makes the move to teams. But there is a definite need for some type of leader--or coach or facilitator--to transfer what traditionally has been leadership responsibility to these team members. The role of leaders changes substantially with teams, but they still have a part to play.

2) Leaders lose power in the transition to teams. Many managers think of power as a zero-sum game. That is, if employees have more power through self-directed teams, then the managers must have less. But power is an expandable and flexible resource. Instead of exercising power inwardly to control people, leaders of self-directed teams should turn their power outward and use it to break down barriers in the organization that prevent the team from being effective. Leaders can make things happen in the organization by helping to influence top management, suppliers--even customers. …

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