Retail Observer

February 2014

The Retail Observer is an industry leading magazine for INDEPENDENT RETAILERS in Major Appliances, Consumer Electronics and Home Furnishings

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Page 37 of 83

RETAILOBSERVER.COM FEBRUARY 2014 38 L eaders should be cognizant of the fact that teams do not evolve. The only things that do evolve in the organizational environment are disorder, friction and poor performance. Effective team design and structure requires thinking, analysis and a systematic approach to their development. Organizational and team structure is not a mechanical, but an organic process. This is because both organizations and the teams that work within them are comprised of individuals and not machines. They are living organisms and therefore organic in nature. Additionally, each design and structure is unique to each organization, matched to meet its needs and objectives. Leaders should take note that some of the worst team development mistakes had were made when a mechanical model of an ideal team structure were imposed upon a living and organic business. It is important for leaders to understand that strategy determines the structure of a team. The basic questions of "What is our business?", "What should it be?", and "What will it be?" determines the defining purpose of any team and organizational structure. The answers to these questions identify the key tasks and activities that specific teams are guided and directed to accomplish. It is this effective structure that makes these key activities function and produce results. Therefore team structure needs to be primarily concerned with these key activities. All other purposes are secondary. The team structure demands self-discipline from every member. All team members must take responsibility for the work of the entire team and its performance. It is the combined structure and the combined efforts of all organizational teams that allow them to accomplish all of the key goals and activities. Teams needs to be designed and structured to integrate three distinct forms of work including: 1. Operating Task—The operating task is responsible for producing the results and output of the team. 2. Innovative Task—The innovative task enables the team to approach its assignment with a view toward the possibilities the team can attain. 3. Management Task—The management task directs the work of the team, creates and monitors its vision and sets its course. All of these distinct forms of work are integrated into the team's structure and approach. The specific blend of these tasks is determined by the responsibility, assignment and make-up of the team. The structure and approach of the team is created to satisfy specific organizational needs including: • Clarity—Clarity should not be confused with simplicity. Teams can be working on complex problems and issues that require complex solutions. They are not expected to simply these solutions for the sake of the organization, but they are expected to clarify them so they are clearly understood and implemented. The same applies for the solutions they create and implement. • Economy—Teams must employ an economy of effort to both maintain control over the team and to minimize the friction between team members. Time devoted to the resolution of internal problems is wasteful of the team's resources and is considered to be uneconomical. • Direction—The direction of the team must be structured toward the results and output rather on the team process. Teams must be concerned with the reasons why they were created rather than on the techniques they need to employ. They must be focused on the results rather than the form. • Understanding—Teams need to be structured so that team members understand their specific roles, tasks and assignments and how each contributes to the accomplishment of individual team goals. • Decision-Making—Decision-making must be structured to focus on the right issues. It must be action and results orientated. • Stability—Teams must be structured to provide stability not rigidity. This allows them to survive turmoil and to adapt from the changing circumstances and environment that they are operating within. • Perpetuation and Self-Renewal—The team structure should be able to produce new leaders for the organization. The structure should be instrumental in assisting these new leaders to continually mature and develop their skills. It is this self-renewal of leadership that allows teams and organizations to develop and incorporate new ideas and thinking. Only with self-renewal are organizations able to maintain a competitive advantage. RO Timothy Bednarz Team Training THE HOWS & WHYS OF A TEAM'S STRUCTURED DEVELOPMENT Contact Timothy Bednarz at 715.342.1018 or at timothy.bednarz@ Excerpt from: A Team's Pupose, Function & Use: Pinpoint Leader- ship Skill Development Training Series

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