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The new teamwork: developing and using cross-function teams

# The new teamwork: developing and using cross-function teams

Third edition
Marshall Sashkin and Molly G Sashkin
AMA Membership publications Division, 1994

Teams and teamwork have become such a common part of management and organisations that we often take their need and usefulness for granted. As we will see, this was not always true. There was a time when a work team was little more than a number of people each doing a similar task or even just pulling on the same rope, and one person could not do thus combining efforts to achieve what. But it takes more than a bunch of people pulling on the same rope to make a team.

In Chapter one and two we show why and how teams became so important in organisations. Chapter three takes us further, to explore why the basic team is no longer enough, why we must go beyond simple work teams to create and develop "cross-function" teams.

The cross-function team (as described in Chapter four) is simply a group of people who come from (and often represent) different parts of an organisation. Such teams are often temporary, that is, they are formed to deal with a special problem or complete a specific task. Other cross-function teams are more than temporary task forces; they go on indefinitely, to deal with recurring problems or an ongoing task mission.

# 24/7 Innovation: a blueprint for surviving and thriving in an age of change

Stephen M Shapiro
McGraw-Hill, 2001

I always knew there would be the likelihood of a good book after 15 years of consulting with major companies around the world. The pace of business expansion was unprecedented during this period, and the changes have put managers into whirls of uncertainty. This uncomfortable situation demands sharp reflexes and creative thinking just to stay even. In fact, the only way to complete today is by accepting that we are in a permanent state of evolution. Admittedly, there is nothing entirely new about this. As the pre-Socratic philosopher Heraclitus said, "All is flux. The sun is new each day."

What is the key to long-term, sustainable success in these rapidly changing circumstances? This book is an attempt to answer that question, and the answer is simple: perpetual innovation. The business world, like life itself, never stops reinventing itself.

In the static world of previous years, traditional business success could often be attained through efficiency and effectiveness. Get to a dominant position in the marketplace and ride it. But in today’s age of change, as soon as you achieve success, someone is nipping at your heels, learning your unique strengths, and planning to take a portion of your market. The only way to success is to have the ability to change – rapidly and repeatedly. This requires perpetual innovation from you and your entire staff at all times.

But it became clear to me in my consulting activities that most companies are stuck in outmoded ways of thinking. I am always amazed at the high quality of people employed by companies around the world. And I am even more amazed at how little most companies tap into the creative potential of these employees. Rigid policies, prescriptive processes, political infighting, and fragmented organisations have stifled innovation for too long.

# Lean Transformation: how to change your business into a lean enterprise

Bruce A. Henderson and Jorge L Larco
The Oaklea Press, 2000

Offer your customers fast delivery and variety. Virtually eliminate product defects. Decrease inventory and space requirements while dramatically increasing productivity and profits. You’ll accomplish all this and more by transforming your business into a lean enterprise.

In this easy-to-read, practical guide, two top business executives explain how to employ the techniques pioneered by Toyota to put your business in position to bury the competition. They draw upon their personal experience of transforming dozens of manufacturing plants and businesses around the world to provide you with real life examples of what works and what doesn’t charts and diagrams, as well as step-by-step instructions.

# What you must know about unfair dismissal

By: Professor Andre van Niekerk*

Government, organised business and organised labour have just recently concluded an exhaustive debate on a series of amendments to labour legislation, many of which affect the law of unfair dismissal.

This book incorporates the changes introduced by the latest amendments to the Labour Relations Amendment Act and the Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Act.

This book consolidates the law of unfair dismissal into an accessible resource for both employers and employees. It is not so much a legal text as a practical guide. The book outlines the jurisdictional issues i.e. who are an employees, what is a dismissal, and discusses the requirements for a fair dismissal from a substantive and procedural perspective. It also deals with the procedures and remedies available to unfairly dismissed employees. The law is explained in a format that promotes an understanding of the rights and obligations of employers and employees.

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Gary Watkins

Gary Watkins

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