While I think the idea is often a hard sell, some of the most effective work groups I've seen or been associated with have been organized along the lines of self-directed work teams. These groups speed decision making by letting most decisions truly be made by the people closest to the work. W.L. Gore and Associates is one company that has made that a cornerstone of their approach to business. The Rohm & Haas Bayport plant was another pioneer in that approach, and, as I've described before
, Bob Gilbert
played a key role in facilitating the work of that plant.
Bob recently spoke at the annual meeting of the Independent Liquid Terminals Association
about how one can create and lead such a high-performance team. He has graciously (thanks, Bob!) made his slides available for the rest of us
I'm curious: what's your experience with such approaches?