• Lynda Wallace-Hulecki, Ed.D.

Literature of Leadership - Teaming: How Organizations Learn, Innovate, and Compete in the Knowledge


TEAMING: HOW ORGANIZATIONS LEARN, INNOVATE, AND COMPETE IN THE KNOWLEDGE ECONOMY. Amy C. Edmondson. (2012, Kindle Edition).

To excel in a complex and uncertain business environment, most would agree that employees need to both work and learn together. According to book author, Amy Edmondson, teaming is a way of working that brings people together to generate new ideas, find answers, and solve problems. In her book, she reveals how teaming can be the engine that drives organizational learning and innovation; and why and how the activities and conditions that undergird teaming (i.e., taking risks, confronting failure, crossing organizational boundaries) require a new leadership mindset and learned skillset for cultivating collaboration and learning in the workplace.

Edmondson is an award-winning author, researcher and scholar of leadership and organizational learning. Her book, Teaming, is intended to be both a practical “how to” guide on teaming for leaders and a research-based resource. Structurally, the book is organized into three parts with eight chapters. Part One defines “teaming” as a concept and way of working; Part Two explains the important role of leaders and leadership strategies for “organizing-to-learn”; and Part Three explores “execution-as-learning” as a way of operating.

The chapters within each section focus on a specific dimension of teaming in context. Specifically, chapters in Part One examine the concept and importance of teaming, a framework for its application, common barriers in practice, and four leadership actions that enable effective teaming and learning.

In Part Two, each of the four leadership actions are explored in more depth with a focus on the human dimensions of teaming. Chapter topics address “the power of framing” to promote effective collaboration and learning, the importance of “psychological safety”, why and how “failure” is an essential part of organizational learning, and the importance of “spanning organizational boundaries”.

The final chapters in Part Three present a model for executing teaming as an iterative process of continuous learning and improvement. Specific steps are detailed for its application in different organizational contexts; and case studies are used to demonstrate the role of leaders in the process.

While there is a strong academic orientation to the writing style, the book includes chapter summaries and easily-referenced tips and tools for leaders.

Image source: Amazon

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