UK: DO AS I SAY...

UK: DO AS I SAY... - Can I be on your team? Everyone's picking teams these days. Hierarchies are out, teams are in. And what sort of teams are they? Interdisciplinary multifunctional teams, of course; balanced, biodegradable teams. Ah, but it's not quite

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Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Can I be on your team? Everyone's picking teams these days. Hierarchies are out, teams are in. And what sort of teams are they? Interdisciplinary multifunctional teams, of course; balanced, biodegradable teams. Ah, but it's not quite as simple as that, as Peter Drucker, the world's favourite management guru, points out.

According to Drucker's latest volume, Post-Capitalist Society, there are three kinds of team whose characteristics are, or should be, determined by the work they have to do. He identifies them by reference to sports. Members of a cricket team play on the team but not as a team, being assigned fixed positions as the game goes on. (Don't argue, you can see what the old boy means.) Soccer players have their own positions, but they all move together in a style which is dictated by their coach. Then there's the doubles tennis pair - a small team having preferred rather than fixed positions, they 'cover' for each other with total flexibility. Guess which kind of team Drucker likes to play in. 'I'm the world's worst manager,' confessed the 83-year old whiz kid. 'I'm a loner, not a team worker. I've been a loner all my life.'.

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