University studies and numerous publications by business experts have shown the importance of teamwork in addressing a wide range of business problems (see our group research bibliography). Properly formed "empowered" or "self-managed" teams are more productive than units focused on the actions of individual employees in almost any circumstance. Team structure trumps day-to-day coaching in improving measurable group performance. These benefits of teamwork have been seen in virtually every type of organization and industry, from the board room to the factory floor. Below are just a few examples we came across (or had a hand in) while developing The SuddenTeams™ Program.
At a Green Giant plant in Illinois, a line-employee team reduced average machine changeover time by more than half, realizing $793,000 in downtime and inventory savings.
A Quaker Oats team formed with union assistance rescued a plant in Illinois from probable closure and went on to achieve recognition as an "America's Best Plant."
A team of "petroleum engineers from Amoco… cut its time to forecast remaining oil and gas reserves from 119 person-days to 29 person-days; a test and assembly team from Texas Instruments… reduced its manufacturing cycle time 42 percent on one of the company's major products" (from "Breakthrough Teamwork" by D. Romig).
The graphics department in Palm Beach County (FL) formed a self-directed team by splitting half of the former supervisor's pay among the team members in exchange for taking over the supervisor's duties. Within a year the team created a 21% increase in revenues—while saving the taxpayers the other half of the supervisor's pay!
At the federal government's Los Alamos National Laboratory:
A self-directed team at Tektronix was able to produce in just three days the same number of units formerly produced in 14.
As reported in a PBS series called "Learning in America," faculty members were teamed with principals or students to turn around four poor-performing schools around the country with disadvantaged student populations. Sample results from different schools include:
A General Electric plant in North Carolina "now runs without supervisors and has reduced costs by more than 30 percent, shortened delivery cycles from three weeks to three days, and reduced customer complaints by a factor of ten" (from "The Wisdom of Teams" by J. Katzenbach and D. Smith).
After Australia’s largest wine producer Southcorp introduced self-managed teams at its Karadoc plant:
Members of voluntary problem-solving teams at a parts manufacturing plant increased output by 3% and reduced quality problems by 27% compared to nonmembers. The total output gain was like adding 1.5 workers per year (see study summary).
If these numbers sound good to you, contact TeamTrainers right now to get started on your own set.