Whatever happened to the worker bee?
A couple of decades ago, the worker bee employee was a prized commodity. Compliant and dedicated to the company, the worker bee knew his place and did his job. Worker bees were rewarded with job security and a company pension for retirement. But recent studies from the today’s marketplace show that the image of the worker bee employee has gone the way of the dodo bird. Replacing that image is the competent and agile team player.
Today’s marketplace makes demands on businesses that can only be met by teams. The prized employee of the 21st century learns quickly, is flexible and works well with others.
As we mentioned in our last post, The HOT Plan™ is a way of getting things done that respects the individual but works through teams. After establishing a strong executive leadership team, the next priority for your HOT plan is setting up interdepartmental HOT teams.
Advantages of Interdepartmental HOT Teams
Interdepartmental teams have a knack for getting at those places that traditional hierarchies find difficult to reach. When Pitsco launched the TETRIX© robotics product line, for example, we created an interdepartmental HOT team to plan and sustain the product launch. Team members included representatives from tribal council, research and development, education insights, curriculum, manufacturing, operations, sales, and marketing. The team allowed us to coordinate various departments with great precision because of the natural cross connections of the team members. The launch was a great success, and we give credit for that to the team.
Interdepartmental HOT teams carry out cross-company initiatives. Today our company has 12 long-standing interdepartmental HOT teams. These include teams like Big Data, Product Research, Product Development, International Business, and Media Relations. Because of the longevity and influence of an interdepartmental HOT team, the creation of new HOT teams and selection of team members is not a casual undertaking, and is carried out by Tribal Council, our executive team.
Interdepartmental teams are not only good for the company, but they are good for the employees. Why? Teams expand the horizons of those who serve on them. Interdepartmental teams help employees step out of their silos and become a part of the larger vision of the company. In a well-composed team, true organizational cross-pollination takes place. And when cross-pollination takes place, possibilities multiply.