THE DIVERSITY CORPORATE
A variety of cross-functional teams have been organized since the beginning of transformation. They include operational improvement teams, community service projects, and eight Future Imperatives teams, which report directly to the Executive Council. These last teams -- six in 1994 1995, and two in 1995-1996 -- have been charged with developing approaches to critical strategic concerns for the company as a system.
The initiative teams came together as relative strangers. They figured out their own mandate. They gained confidence as they discovered that they had a significant task ahead of them. They muddled through the evolution of that insight, and then crystallized into understanding when they had a chance to look outside OilCo's traditional boundaries -- in part by going to other companies. Finally, when they came back together, they faced inordinately tough deadlines and an uncertain fate: How should they present their material? What was their authority? And what would the aftermath be?
At OilCo, most of the teams had their formal task end at that point. Nonetheless, most of them found themselves feeling committed, in one way or another, to help follow up with the implementation of their recommendations. This comment comes from a staff member who was not on an initiative team, but who observed them first from a location outside Los Angeles, and later worked closely with one of the teams.
Could this be a model for other types of teams throughout OilCo?
MEMBER, CORPORATE STAFF: The initiative teams were different from ordinary company practice. It looked like senior managers would have to come across with specific recommendations about how to run the businesses. It was