Whether selling products or services, making strategic decisions, delivering solutions, or driving innovation, most work of any substance today is accomplished by teams. However, since the early 1990s, teams have evolved from more stable groups-where members were co-located, dedicated to a common mission, and directed by a single leader-to more matrixed entities with colleagues located around the world, juggling time between several projects, and accountable to multiple leaders. As teams have become more fluid, substantial challenges have been posed to traditional advice on team formation, leadership, roles, and process. This article describes how leaders at all levels within an organization can obtain innovation and performance benefits by shifting focus from forming teams to developing networks at key points of execution.
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