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The Wisdom of Teams by Douglas K. Smith, Jon R. Katzenbach

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12

Top Management’s Role

Leading to the High-Performance Organization

TOP MANAGEMENT’S ROLE regarding teams is changing. In the past, it largely has left the nourishment of teams to others. In seeking to improve performance, it has put its time and attention into changing strategies, individual assignments, larger organizational forms, management processes, and important leadership initiatives. If companies already had a strong performance ethic, many real teams formed nonetheless. But in companies with weaker performance orientations, like Burlington Northern in the early 1980s, benign neglect at the top has contributed to team performance being the exception rather than the rule.

The primary role of top management, of course, is to lead the ...

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