A Modern Team Based Structure - Sacher Associates
A modern team based structure

A modern team based structure

Motivation at work may actually have more to do with how tasks are designed and managed than with the personal dispositions of people who do them.

Hackman and Oldham

Teams, rather than traditional structures, create the conditions that motivate people. Many organizations today have policies, structures and management styles that perpetuate a work environment out of alignment with current employee needs. Past management practices and past leadership styles are still being applied, even though they are not in touch with the needs of the employees. Teams, rather than traditional structures, create the conditions that motivate people.

What do I do on Monday morning?

Starting with January the 1st, What do I do on Monday morning? lays out a template for performance improvement in sequenced and practical daily actions and advice. It covers the 10 essential components and systems necessary to optimize people's performance and contribution. Each month we cover a different component and in October we are covering the component of organization structure.

The overriding feature of the modern team-based structure is that it is designed around empowered teams responsible for autonomous outputs, rather than any functional or historical considerations. This structure is also characterized by the elimination of reporting levels and the simultaneous acceptance of additional responsibility by team members. Unlike the matrix structure, the teams and the overall structure itself is permanent. 15

Organizations used to be perceived as gigantic pieces of engineering, with largely interchangeable human parts. We talked about their structures and their systems, of inputs and outputs, of control devices and of managing them, as if the whole was one large factory. Today the language is not that of engineering but of politics, with talk of cultures and networks, of teams and coalitions, of influence or power rather than control, of leadership, not management. 13 Charles Handy

Honda organizes by teams, not by functions. The team approach is used in everyday activity, not just on the production line. Each of the team members is multi-skilled. Every team has a leader. There is no gap between labor and management ... Empowerment and ownership are real, not slogans. 16 Bill Creech 

The advantages of a modern team-based structure include:

  • It is based on the sound logic of the core value-adding systems of the organization and is therefore easily understandable (eg team 1 for process 1; team 2 for process 2 – the flow follows function).
  • The flat structure eliminates managerial levels thereby facilitating communication.
  • The total number of people required is usually fewer than in traditional structures.

It is the best structure for obtaining a clear definition of outputs, performance measures and targets; and for reaching the targets. This, in turn, facilitates workforce empowerment and job satisfaction together with technical results. 17

Quality control is one thing. People control is another. The first we all need. The second nobody needs. We do need new structures and a new attitude that, I hope, will take us further toward using the talents and skills of everybody. Times have simply gotten too tough for any company to allow even the slightest amount of talent or skill or knowledge available to go to waste. 10 Kerm Campbell

True ‘freedom’ is not the absence of structure – letting the employees go off and do whatever they want – but rather a clear structure that enables people to work within established boundaries in an autonomous and creative way.

Rosabeth Moss Kanter

What do I do on Monday morning? has been designed as a daily reference guide for improving the organizational performance of your business using the proven Sacher Associates systems. Published in Australia and globally it is now in its third print edition.

I have written this work not to teach people what they do not know, but to remind them of what they already know and is very evident to them. You will find in most of my words only things which most people know and concerning which they have no doubts. But to the extent that they are well known and their truths revealed to all, so is forgetfulness in relation to them extremely prevalent.

 M.C. Luzzatto



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