February 29, 2012

The Right Role for Top Teams

Analysis of informal networks offers a potent leadership model for the C-suite: Make top teams the hub of the enterprise, and watch performance improve.

by Rob Cross and Jon Katzenbach
Think of the top teams you’ve known that have had the greatest impact. Did their value come from the meetings they conducted and the decisions they made together? Or did it derive from something else? In most companies, the phrase top team is a misnomer. Senior executives throughout the company may clamor for a seat on the leadership committee because that is where the key strategic decisions are supposedly made. But in actuality, the group rarely conducts its work in unison, as a deliberative body or a source of command. Instead, its power comes from its members’ informal and social networks, their determination to make the most of those connections, and their ability to work well in subgroups formed to address specific issues. The most effective top teams are those that recognize this reality and explicitly set themselves up to function as the senior hub of the enterprise. READ MORE

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