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Who's in the Room?: How Great Leaders Structure and Manage the Teams Around Them

Book Description

Is your company run by a team with no name?

At the top of every organization chart lies a myth—that a Senior Management Team makes a company's critical decisions. The reality is that critical decisions are typically made by the boss and a small group of confidants—a "team with no name"—outside of formal processes. Meanwhile, other members of the management team wonder why they weren't in the room or even consulted ahead of time. The dysfunction that results from this gap between myth and reality has led to years of unproductive team building exercises. The problems, Frisch shows, are ones of process and structure, not psychology.

Who's In the Room is based on interviews with CEOs at organizations ranging from MasterCard to Ticketmaster to The Red Cross.

  • Understand and embrace the way decision-making actually happens in their organizations

  • Use these "teams with no names" to best advantage

  • Engage the Senior Management Team in the three critical tasks for which it is ideally suited

Organizations will get better decisions and superior results by unleashing the full potential of their Senior Management Teams. And bosses will see a dramatic drop-off in people coming into their offices asking, "Why wasn't I in the room?"

Table of Contents

  1. Cover Page
  2. Preface
  3. Title Page
  4. Copyright
  5. Contents
  6. Dedication
  7. Introduction
  8. PART ONE: From Problem to Portfolio
    1. CHAPTER 1: Most Companies Are Run by Teams with No Names
      1. The Myth of the Top Team
      2. Illusion and Reality
      3. The Problem That Isn't There, But Won't Go Away
      4. Note
    2. CHAPTER 2: Team Building Won't Solve the Problem
      1. When the Shrinks Go Marching In
      2. After the Shrinks Have Gone
    3. CHAPTER 3: Don't Blame the Boss
      1. In Search of the Ideal Leader
      2. Inside the Box
      3. Do the “Rights” Thing
      4. Notes
    4. CHAPTER 4: Four Fundamental Conflicts at the Heart of Senior Management Teams
      1. Mission Control Versus Knights of the Round Table: Functional Specialists or Reflections of the CEO?
      2. The Team Versus the Legislature: The Representative from Finance, the Senator from Operations
      3. The House Versus the Senate: Are Some More Equal Than Others?
      4. The Majority Versus the Majority: The Impossibility of Deciding
      5. Maybe the Problem Is That There Is No Problem
    5. CHAPTER 5: Case Study
      1. The Past as Prologue
      2. Tailoring the Structure to Suit Your Needs as a Leader
    6. CHAPTER 6: Best Practices
      1. The Three Centers of Gravity
      2. Flexing in Five Dimensions
      3. The Portfolio and the Payoff
      4. Note
  9. PART TWO: The Senior Management Team Unbound
    1. CHAPTER 7: Engage the Senior Management Team in Three Critical Conversations No Other Team Can Have
      1. Note
    2. CHAPTER 8: Align the Senior Management Team Around a Common View of the World
      1. The Starting Point: Aligning Around Trends
      2. Clustering Trends into Drivers of Change
      3. Understanding Capabilities and Assets
      4. Walking the Boundaries of the Company: Testing Walls and Fences
      5. Defining and Selecting Opportunities
      6. Note
    3. CHAPTER 9: Prioritize and Integrate Initiatives to Hit the Strategic Bull's-Eye
      1. Asking the Nearly Impossible: Prioritizing Initiatives
      2. The Real Source of the Difficulty
      3. Changing the Conversation
      4. It's All Relative
      5. Hitting the Bull's-Eye: Making Initiatives Work Together
    4. CHAPTER 10: Move from “ Should We Do This?” to “ How Do We Do This?”
      1. It All Depends: Why Initiatives Fail
      2. Putting on the Brakes: The Value of Parochialism
      3. The American Red Cross: Managing Dependencies at the Speed of Disaster
      4. Going from “Should” to “How”
      5. Fixing What's Actually Broken
      6. Note
    5. CHAPTER 11: Tailor Your Portfolio of Teams for Top Performance Now
      1. Thinking It Through
      2. Putting the New Approach into Motion
      3. Repurposing the SMT
      4. Who's in the Room?
  10. Acknowledgments
  11. The Author
  12. Index