Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Study Shows CEOs Prefer Team Model

working paper that came out this month from the Harvard Business School on "Span of Control and Span of Activity" sheds some light on how today's CEOs engage with their senior executives. 

Interactions between top executives are central to the top management team (TMT) literature in management. According to this area of study, senior senior management acts as a team, not as a group of executives operating independently.  The CEO interacts with senior managers and senior managers interact with each other to share information and collectively make decisions.  

In contrast, models in economics propose the classic inverted tree model of organizational structure.  The CEO and each subordinate has a pairwise nature (one-to-one) and there is no multilateral interaction involving more than one subordinate, or with a subordinate and other managers (one-to-many).

According to the time use data from this study, when the CEO sits down for an internal meeting, there is representation at the table from across the organization.  In fact, "almost a half of CEO interactions with insiders are in fact cross-functional, which provides some initial supportive evidence for the team model of managerial interactions", and this lends itself to collective thinking and decision-making. 

One of the findings reported in the report's summary is that "CEOs interact with their subordinates in a team-like fashion and less as a group of independent executives. This is generally supportive of the central implicit assumption of the TMT literature that senior managers interact like teams, and in contrast with the simple inverted-tree model prevalent in the organizational economics literature."

There's more to learn from this study about CEO interactions with subordinates, yet the confirmation that the cross-functional senior team is going strong seems to mirror the increased focus on team dynamics within the industries of leadership training and development, management consulting, and executive coaching. 

"Individuals don't win in business, teams do."  Sam Walton

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Answers To Your Questions About What Coaching Can Do For Your Organization

In celebration of International Coaching Week, I share with you today a link to the Library of Professional Coaching.  As noted on their home page, "Our library includes a growing collection of articles, research briefs, and white papers which will serve as the ultimate free Internet-based source of information about professional coaching.  It's an easily searchable database of trusted, high-caliber, peer-reviewed content." 

This site is a valuable resource to those looking for answers to questions like these about coaching:
  •      Why does an organization hire a coach?
  •      How long is a typical coaching engagement?
  •      How does coaching work for groups and teams?
  •      What is the Return On Investment (ROI) for coaching?
  •      How is coaching applied in different industries?
Additionally, you will find a wealth of articles on leadership topics such as :
  •      Managing Change
  •      Applying Emotional Intelligence in the workplace
  •      Ethics and Values
  •      Breaking Down Organizational Silos
  •      Employee Engagement
Sponsors for this site include the International Coach Federation, and you can find more articles, research, and case studies about coaching on their Research Portal.

If you are interested in coaching for your organization,