Is your company run by a team with no name?
At the top of every organization chart lies a myth that a Senior Management Team makes a company's critical decisions. The reality is that critical decisions are typically made by the boss and a small group of confidants a "team with no name" outside of formal processes. Meanwhile, other members of the management team wonder why they weren't in the room or even consulted ahead of time. The dysfunction that results from this gap between myth and reality has led to years of unproductive team building exercises. The problems, Frisch shows, are ones of process and structure, not psychology.
In Who's in the Room? Bob Frisch provides a unique perspective to this widely misunderstood issue. Flying in the face of decades of organizational psychology, he argues that the solution lies not in addressing behaviors, but in unseating the senior management team as the epicenter of decision making. Using a broad portfolio of teams large and small, permanent and temporary, formal and informal great leaders match each decision to the appropriate team in a fluid, flexible approach that you won't find described in management textbooks.
Who's in the Room? is based on interviews with CEOs at organizations ranging from MasterCard to Ticketmaster to The Red Cross.
Understand and embrace the way decision-making actually happens in their organizations
Use these "teams with no names" to best advantage
Engage the Senior Management Team in the three critical tasks for which it is ideally suited
Organizations will get better decisions and superior results by unleashing the full potential of their Senior Management Teams. And bosses will see a dramatic drop-off in people coming into their offices asking, "Why wasn't I in the room?"
Bob Frisch, managing partner of The Strategic Offsites Group, has worked with organizations ranging from Fortune 500 companies to German mittelstand family businesses to the U.S. Department of State. Bob's work has been featured in the Harvard Business Review, the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Businessweek, and Fortune.
Introduction: Who s in the Room? 1 PART ONE: FROM PROBLEM TO PORTFOLIO 5 1 Most Companies Are Run by Teams with No Names 7 The Myth of the Top Team Illusion and Reality The Problem That Isn t There, But Won t Go Away 2 Team Building Won t Solve the Problem 21 When the Shrinks Go Marching In After the Shrinks Have Gone 3 Don t Blame the Boss 29 In Search of the Ideal Leader Inside the Box Do the Rights Thing 4 Four Fundamental Conflicts at the Heart of Senior Management Teams 41 Mission Control Versus Knights of the Round Table: Functional Specialists or Reflections of the CEO? The Team Versus the Legislature: The Representative from Finance, the Senator from Operations The House Versus the Senate: Are Some More Equal Than Others? The Majority Versus the Majority: The Impossibility of Deciding Maybe the Problem Is That There Is No Problem 5 Case Study: How One CEO Transformed His Top Team 57 The Past as Prologue Moving from a Single Top Team to Multiple Teams The Team That Sits Together Works Together Tailoring the Structure to Suit Your Needs as a Leader 6 Best Practices: Design an Organization That Delivers the Outcomes You Need 73 The Three Centers of Gravity Flexing in Five Dimensions The Portfolio and the Payoff PART TWO: THE SENIOR MANAGEMENT TEAM UNBOUND 91 7 Engage the Senior Management Team in Three Critical Conversations No Other Team Can Have 93 8 Align the Senior Management Team Around a Common View of the World 99 The Starting Point: Aligning Around Trends Clustering Trends into Drivers of Change Understanding Capabilities and Assets Walking the Boundaries of the Company: TestingWalls and Fences Defining and Selecting Opportunities 9 Prioritize and Integrate Initiatives to Hit the Strategic Bull s-Eye 119 Asking the Nearly Impossible: Prioritizing Initiatives The Real Source of the Difficulty Changing the Conversation It s All Relative Hitting the Bull s-Eye: Making Initiatives Work Together 10 Move from Should We Do This? to How Do We Do This? 145 It All Depends: Why Initiatives Fail Putting on the Brakes: The Value of Parochialism The American Red Cross: Managing Dependencies at the Speed of Disaster Going from Should to How Fixing What s Actually Broken 11 Tailor Your Portfolio of Teams for Top Performance Now 167 Thinking It Through Putting the New Approach into Motion Repurposing the SMT Who s in the Room? Acknowledgments 179 The Author 183 Index 185