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The New Why Teams Don't Work: What Goes Wrong and How to Make It Right 2nd Edition

22 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1576751107
ISBN-10: 1576751104
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Why Teams Dont Work is that rarest of beasts: a book of truths."Jim Kane,

"Finley and Robbins set us on a compelling journey to teams success by helping us see and embrace the secrets we often hide from ourselves and our teammates." Richard J. Leider, author of The Power of Purpose and coauthor of Repacking Your Bags

"This is an immensely helpful book. Finley and Robbins show that the secret of great teams isnt found in buzzwords or gimmicks, but in bringing out the best in every individual. Their suggestions are compassionate, yet tough-minded and practical."Robert K. Cooper, Ph.D., author of The Performance Edge and Executive EQ

"Robbins and Finley are provocative writers the read is fast, funny, and highly stimulating."Business Book Review

About the Author

Harvey Robbins, president of Robbins & Robbins, has been a practicing business psychologist since 1974, training and coaching teams to improve performance. His clients have included American Express, AT&T, Allied Signal, General Dynamics, 3M, Johnson & Johnson, and the IRS, among many others. He is author of Turf Wars and How to Speak and Listen Effectively.

Michael Finley has authored over a dozen books, including award-winning collaborations with Harvey Robbins that include Transcompetition, Why Teams Dont Work, and Why Change Doesnt Work. "Future Shoes," his weekly syndicated column on modern life, appears in newspapers and trade magazines throughout the country, as well as in online editions.


Product Details

  • Paperback: 271 pages
  • Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers; 2nd edition (January 15, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1576751104
  • ISBN-13: 978-1576751107
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.7 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #954,950 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 20, 2006
Format: Paperback
Teams have been touted as efficient, creative and able to innovate quickly for many years now. In this flood of books, articles and teamwork guru's, many organizations have been changing their organizational structure from traditional managerial hierarchies to team-based work. Unfortunately, teams don't always bring the results that management was hoping for. Why not?

Authors Harvey Robbins and Michael Finley say that there are many reasons why teams may not be working, but the principle one is that managers have forgotten that teams are made up of human beings. A team is not a piece of machinery that can be assembled and then turned on. It is a collection of human beings with all their various faults, ambitions, and insecurities, who are attempting to work together. Using teams does not mean that leadership is no longer required. Teams need to be led, motivated and nurtured. The strength of teams is creative, an opportunity to bring the expertise of many different people together to reach a common goal. When teams are used simply as cost-cutting devices to replace middle management, this primary strength of teams is being ignored.

Here is some of the advice the authors have for building and maintaining successful teams:

· Make sure the team members remain focused on the common goal.

· Make sure that the goal is clear to everyone and attainable in small steps.

· Make sure the team knows who their customer is.

· Make sure the roles of different team members are clear, and everyone knows who is responsible who which decisions.

· Listen to the concerns and conflicts of all team members. Take action to address their concerns.
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 11, 2001
Format: Paperback
I started off with a great deal of hope for this book, and nearly finished with it I am very disappointed. If I would have sat down before I read this book and listed some common sense principles related to teams, I would have put down about 90% of the concepts in this book. That doesn't necessairly bother me about this book, because business isn't always rocket science. The problem is the book is long on fluffy discussions, and short on the nuts and bolts aspect. What studies support their assertions, what does the research say about teams? Even beyond that, give me some ideas for how to accomplish what you say about teams. Give some kind of practical use, or practical application of your theories. I think what was the final straw for me, was when they began rehashing some basic motivational theories withouth mentioning them by name, or even fully discussing them. This book tries to be a lot more than its title proclaims it to be, or it is capable of being. Robbins is a psychologist, who I thought would really be able to add some understanding to what goes on in teams. Unfortunately, that is all but absent from this book. Finley, appears to be one of the dime-a-dozen business writers who reword common concepts and try to resell them. Most of the book winds up blaming management for the cause of team failure instead of helping people become more effective teammates. I usually stick to reading books about specific companies, because those contain real world examples and are usually written by much more credible sources. I strayed in this case, and got burned. Hopefully you won't. If you have an MBA, skip this book, you have already heard it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on May 22, 2001
Format: Paperback
In The New Why Teams Don't Work: What Goes Wrong And How To Make It Right, Harvey Robbins and Michael Finley effectively collaborate to explain how to work with others to make decisions, stay in budget, and achieve team goals. They also reveal how to get hidden agendas on the table, clarify individual roles, learn what team members expect and want form each other, and to choose the right decision-making process for the task at hand. This updated and revised edition of The New Why Teams Don't Work features a new section on team leadership which explores the necessary qualities and skills a leader must have; new concepts for addressing team problems such a boundary management; an in depth examination of "team of one" mentality and how to eliminate it; an expanded definition of teams that sees teams and their problems everywhere; the myths of teams and why a sports team is a fitting metaphor or template for like a business team. The New Why Teams Don't Work is very highly recommended and informative reading for anyone charged with the responsibility of team leadership, membership, or management.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Steve Long, Ph.D. on January 27, 2001
Format: Paperback
I was first introduced to Robbins & Finley, when I purchased a copy of the audiotape version of the original Why Teams Don't Work a couple of years ago (the book itself was out of print at the time). Like many others, I found the title compelling. Among the endless list of books touting teams as the pancea for all organizational problems, here was a book that provided a fresh, honest look at teams and their all-too-human members.
For those who have never been exposed to the original book, you are in for a real treat! In this new version, Robbins & Finley present the real-life lessons of teamwork that most of us have learned the hard way with all the wit and social satire of a Mark Twain novel. For those that have experienced the original book, you will find all of the wit and wisdom of the original plus some delightful new insights into human behavior in teams. The section on team myths alone is worth purchasing the new book.
I highly recommend the book to team members everywhere who struggle in the trenches to get their teams on track while juggling the performance demands of today's fast moving organizations. As Robbins and Finley point out, teams are a natural vehicle for human accomplishment but effective teams don't happen by accident. Or, as Forrest Gump might say, "Bubba told me a lot about teamwork, but you know what I learned, teamwork is hard."
The book may not turn your current team around, but it will certainly give you the insight to understand what went wrong and how to make it right next time.
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