Article in London Business School's Business Strategy Review
The November 2014 issue of London Business School's Business Strategy Review contains an article by Dennis exploring 'organodynamics', the science of how to get useful work out of organisations, this being an edited version of my more extensive thought-piece. There are, indeed, very many articles and books about teamwork but this one is different, and (I trust!) novel.
Thermodynamics is a long-established, and important, branch of science, dealing with how to get useful work out of machines, such as engines. The most fundamental concept within thermodynamics is 'entropy', a measure of order, and one of the great insights from thermodynamics is that if you wish to increase order, or to maintain order over time, then you must expend energy to make that happen. So here's an observation on high-performing teams you might like to think about: a high-performing team maintains a high degree of order over time, and this will happen only if energy is pumped, continuously, into the team.
And whilst you're thinking about that, consider the difference between a high-performing team and the same number of people behaving like a rabble. Which is the more ordered the team or the rabble? Thermodynamics tells us that maintaining order requires the constant expenditure of energy. So where does that energy come from in the context of a high-performing team?
Maybe that's what leadership is all about...