X-Teams: How to Build Teams That Lead, Innovate, and Succeed

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Why do good teams fail? Very often, argue Deborah Ancona and Henrik Bresman, it is because they are looking inward instead of outward. Based on years of research examining teams across many industries, Ancona and Bresman show that traditional team models are falling short, and that what’s needed--and what works--is a new brand of team that emphasizes external outreach to stakeholders, extensive ties, expandable tiers, and flexible membership.

The authors highlight that X-teams not only are able to adapt in ways that traditional teams aren’t, but that they actually improve an organization’s ability to produce creative ideas and execute them—increasing the entrepreneurial and innovative capacity within the firm. What’s more, the new environment demands what the authors call “distributed leadership,” and the book highlights how X-teams powerfully embody this idea.

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Editorial Reviews

The authors dive into the nitty-gritty details of engineering a better team . . .
The Globe & Mail
The book expands our thinking about teams...comfortable reading, broken down into clear sections . . .
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591396925
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
  • Publication date: 6/26/2007
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 569,268
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     IX
Introduction: When Bad Things Happen to Good Teams     1
Why Good Teams Fail
Into a Downward Spiral     21
How Our Old Models Lead to Failure
A Changing World     41
New Kinds of Organizations
New Kinds of Teams
What Works
X-Team Principle 1     63
External Activity
X-Team Principle 2     89
Extreme Execution
X-Team Principle 3     117
Flexible Phases
X-Factors     139
The X-Team Support Structure
How to Build Effective X-Teams
Tools for X-Teams     165
From Theory to Action
Crafting an Infrastructure for Innovation     195
The X-Team Program
X-Teams     217
Distributed Leadership in Action
Notes     241
Index     249
About the Authors     259
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2007

    A methodology for managing teams and projects.

    Years of research show that a team that focuses solely on internal team building is likely to fail. The ¿X-team¿ emphasizes external activity, and a flexible membership and leadership structure. Deborah Ancona and Henrik Bresman write that such a team is not only more likely to succeed, but will often exceed managerial expectations. This book, divided into three sections, tells you why some teams fail, how to create one that works and how to manage it through every phase of a project. The authors make liberal use of examples from major corporations, such as BP and Microsoft, to illustrate all their principles. The terminology is somewhat proprietary, but the approach makes a great deal of sense. We recommend this book to managers and team members alike.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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