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Teaming: How Organizations Learn, Innovate, and Compete in the Knowledge Economy Hardcover – August 26, 2014

4.5 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Amy C. Edmondson is the Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at Harvard Business School. She is the author of Teaming to Innovate, Teaming, and A Fuller Explanation, along with over seventy articles on leadership, teams, innovation, and organizational learning. She has received many awards, including the Accenture Award for significant contribution to improving the practice of management.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass Pfeiffer; 1 edition (August 26, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 078797093X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0787970932
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 6.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,564 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Davis Liu on April 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Professor Amy Edmondson of Harvard Business school has crafted a practical evidenced based book on how leaders and organizations must approach the increasing complexity of problems they face. Unlike the mindset of execution, which was successful in the past, Professor Edmondson demonstrates that in an increasingly competitive global economy a different approach is needed.

Organizations must learn by teaming.

She provides leaders a clear understanding of how individual and organizational psychology, the reality of hierarchical status, cultural differences, and distance can and do separate team members which can prevent successful teaming. Leaders can close these gaps by understanding the existence of these obstacles and by adapting their leadership style to support and facilitate teaming successfully. She demonstrates the challenges as well as the solutions where teaming has gone well and not so well (the "impossible" rescue of miners in Chile and space shuttle Columbia tragedy) with numerous case studies and insights.

Professor Edmondson also notes that leaders must also thoughtfully identify where the challenges they face fit on the Process Knowledge Spectrum (routine, complex, or innovation). Routine operations could be a car manufacturing plant where outcomes and certainty are known. At the other extreme, innovation operations, like an academic research lab, the outcomes and certainty are quite unknown. Although the teaming framework applies, the leader's specific behaviors and actions change. Having excellent outcomes and teaming necessitates matching the right approach to the correct operation.

Interestingly to maximize learning, conflict and failure are necessary for teaming to be successful.
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Format: Hardcover
Amy Edmondson characterizes "teaming" as "teamwork on the fly." It could also be termed "informal collaboration on steroids." Whatever, the fact remains that human beings have been exchanging information at least since the discovery of caves as shelters. Edmondson observes, "Though teaming refers to a dynamic activity rather than to a traditional, bounded group structure, many of its purposes and benefits are grounded in basic principles of teams and teamwork. Among the benefits of teams is their ability to integrate diverse expertise as needed to accomplish many important tasks." In what Peter Senge characterizes as the "total learning organization," everyone is both a teacher and a student, depending on the given information exchange. The extent to which teaming is spontaneous is determined by the extent to which it is allowed to be. (The same is true of innovative thinking.)

Edmonson explains how to achieve major strategic objectives, such as these discussed in the first chapter:

o Formulating a new way of thinking about new ways to team (viewed as a verb)
o Organizing to execute
o Learning to team and teaming to learn
o Establishing the process knowledge spectrum
o Formulating new ways of thinking about new ways to lead

Edmonson's approach in each of the eight chapters is to identify, briefly, the "what" of some dimension or component of teaming and then devote most of her (and her reader's) attention to "how" to make it happen. She also makes skillful use of two reader-friendly devices at the conclusion of each chapter: "Leadership Summary" and "Lessons and Actions.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bravo! This is a wonderful book for anyone who is interested changing organizations, or the world at large! I've been doing Organizational Development work and have stacks of stacks of books on the topic of change, leadershipship, organizational improvement etc. etc. Amy's book takes her many years of wonderful experience and points us in a clear direction for moving forward into a more complex era of organizational and planatary change. Teaming is just the starting point. It's really about learning as we seek to execute strategies in increasingly complex environments and times.

What a pleasure to come across a "management" and/or"Business/Organizational" book that is not boring and insipid as about 95% of what is written in these categories usually is. Most highly recommended.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a great book, with a wealth of ideas supported by research and qualitative and quantitative data sources in what otherwise many companies, especially technology companies, have taken for-granted - that of team work. In todays competitive business landscape, where companies have to rapidly innovate or die the slow death, that they rely on small autonomous teams instrumented with purpose and punctuated with reflective learning moments . Amy points out that be it routine, complex or innovative work, teaming doesn't come naturally, well not unless you were an athlete who took part in team sports - safe to say an unlikely arena for most knowledge workers in the high-tech industry. She brings clarity to the traditional leadership and management approaches of execution-as-efficiency vs. execution-to-learn a paradigm few companies have adopted across the organization. Its a great source for those focused on organizational change, specifically when it comes to adoption of Lean/Agile practices across all endeavors of work.
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