Team of Teams

By Janeen Gelbart, CEO and Co-Founder of Indiggo

One of the fastest-growing trends in management is the development of agile teams — ING, the Dutch bank, has been so successful in deploying agile teams that there’s a waiting list of other organizations who want to visit ING’s offices to see what it looks like in action.

At the heart of this trend, however, is a step much harder to accomplish: How do you make sure your agile teams work in concert with one another? What is the best way to build a team of teams?

This is essential because the transition from hierarchical and top-down execution structure to one of agile teams can leave behind one of the great virtues of a strong hierarchy — relatedness and some form of control. Two elements vital to effective strategy execution.

Leaders throughout an organization must be accountable to a shared set of priorities so that the organization as a whole succeeds. If agile teams dedicate capacity to an issue which isn’t central to the current priorities of an organization, their agility may prove to be a waste of valuable capacity and resources.

Whatever execution process your organization chooses to follow, it’s critical that everyone remains connected to the top priorities and is aligned around the path and progress to meeting them. The strength of agile teams is that you have access to a dynamic resource for rapid action. We must just ensure that this action is focused on what matters most.