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356 Part 3: Performance Excellence and Organizational Behavior
and
support. Each team member also formulated his
or her own development plan based on these and
other assessments.
Because one of the plant’s strategies was
to
improve the capabilities of the management team, the
team worked with an outside consultant to identify
strengths and weaknesses. The consultant observed
each of the team members in work situations and pro-
vided specific personal feedback and suggestions over
an extended period of time. Each team member
reviewed his or her assessment with the group and
asked for reactions and recommendations.
The consultant also provided feedback on group
processes and worked in concert with an internal con-
sultant to improve teamwork processes.
2.
Discussion Questions
1. What lessons do you think the company learned
about transforming its leadership system to a
team-based organization?
What conditions do you think are necessary for
management teams to become “real teams” and
not just a grouping of independent functional
managers who cooperate with each other?
3.
What challenges do such leadership teams face?
Chapter 8: Quality Teamwork 355
for unpopular decisions. The previous GM had
established some teams that had failed miserably
and many associates were bitter and had conflicts
with other departments. There seemed to be a
widespread attitude of “What’s in it for me?”
Some associates thought that the expectations of
team processes would be overwhelming and were
afraid that if the team failed, they would be held
personally responsible and their careers would be
in jeopardy. Others thought that their jobs might
be eliminated.
Sandra stared at this list and wondered what she had
gotten herself into. What recommendations would
make to her to address these issues?
you
The Power of Leadership Teams=2
When the top management group at Georgia Power
Company’s Plant Hammond decided to become a
team, everyone was quite sure that they were already
a team and worked pretty well together. The top lead-
ership group in early 1995 was 10 people from three
management levels and two individual contributors.
The management style was much the same as they
had been using for many years in the utility industry
and was characterized by an emphasis on the chain of
command for most decisions—with the important
ones made by one or two people. Information and
business results were communicated on a “need to
know” basis. For the most part, each department
operated and made decisions independently.
This management style served the utility business
well, given its business requirements. The business
was relatively predictable and structured with a regu-
lated rate of return, regional market protection, and
100 percent control of access to its own distribution
facilities. A watershed development, however, occurred
in the early 1990s—a move toward deregulation. This
demanded fundamental changes in the way Plant Ham-
mond operated and managed its resources.
In the early 1990s, the plant had reduced the num-
ber of employees by about one third, resulting in fewer
management levels and fewer managers in those levels.
In early 1995, the parent organization, Southern Com-
pany, implemented a transformation process to
improve the plant’s ability to compete.
This transformation process required an emphasis
on business results at all levels and creation of an
organization culture that could deal with uncertainty
As the plant manager considered the requirements
for the future, he determined that the structure, pro-
cesses, and culture of the plant would need to change.
Therefore, top management must change how it oper-
ated, broadening capabilities at all levels. Processes
were needed to manage decision-making risk and gain
consensus on direction. A new organizational structure
was one of the early steps in their transformation. The
structure provided an “outside in” focus—identifying
the operations function as the primary internal cus-
tomer, and grouped plant activities into several func-
tional areas.
However, plant management knew that simply
changing the boxes on an organization chart was not
sufficient for real change. In the summer of 1995, the
plant manager and nine other employees took their first
step toward becoming a team when they came together
at a facilitated off-site meeting. They clarified individual
roles and responsibilities on this new team and began
developing team relationships. They agreed that the
role of each leadership-team member should be one of
“shared responsibilities with a functional focus.” Top
managers at the plant could no longer make decisions
from only their own departments’ view. In fact, man-
agers were required to consider the impact of their
decisions–not only on the total plant but also on the
total operating system of the Southern Company.
Each member took on the responsibility to cham-
pion specific transformation activities for the leader-
ship team. The team began to have regular one-day
session meetings where they discussed and made deci-
sions on strategic and operational issues. This man-
agement team took a key developmental step in 1996
by setting expectations for their behavior and
present-
ing them to their organizations during reviews of the
1996 plant strategic plan. Putting these expectations
“on the record” built incentives to act accordingly.
The team found several tools to be helpful in its
operation and development. One was a common
work plan that served multiple purposes: (1) to ensure
integration of their efforts and to track team results;
(2) to establish member accountability; (3) to facilitate
the delegation of traditional plant manager tasks; and
(4) as a catalyst to surface strategic issues. Each team
member took responsibility for the accomplishment of
particular parts of the work plan.
The team also used various assessment instru
ments to understand and deal with the different ind
vidual styles of team members. Each team memb
discussed his or her assessment in an open forum
As a result, members made commitments for chan
and competition
The case study “The Power of Leadership Team” is located on Page 355; of our textbook
a
Instructions to Students:
1. Read the case carefully, conduct research as stated, assimilate all facts, and data.
2. Please write a report covering the following bullet points to address the discussion
questions. You are not to simply answer the questions.
Construct a clear and insightful problem statement and identify all underlying
issues. Please address the discussion questions at end of the case.
Propose solution(s) that are sensitive to all the identified issues. For each problem,
propose solutions, giving a complete rationale / justification.
Evaluate each solution you proposed, providing thorough insightful explanations,
feasibility of each solution, and the impact of each solution.
Provide concise yet thorough action-oriented recommendation, justifying why it
will solve the problem. Address limitations of the solution(s) and outline
recommended future analysis.
You can organize your report so that you address problem, solutions and feasibility
issues for each important problem – in separate sections. Use of headers and
graphics is strongly encouraged.
3. Your answers should be concise, concrete, action oriented, and well-supported. You
can add appendices, graphics, charts, graphs, and exhibits as desired.
4. Please limit your narrative to three (3) to four (4) pages, double-spaced, and in APA
format. “APA Style Guidelines” is available on D2L.
.
I=

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