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Chapter 24. The Self-Directed Team > Getting the Self-Directed Team Underway - Pg. 320

The Self-Directed Team 320 Self-directed teams often mark their successes with team celebrations. When a project is completed, the entire team takes an extended lunch hour for a celebratory meal or an afternoon off for a family picnic. Getting the Self-Directed Team Underway Before setting up a self-directed team, the company should determine if the work involved can be most effectively performed within that structure. If the team philosophy fits company strategy, and if management is willing to make a long-term commitment to the process, it should proceed as follows: 1. 2. 3. 4. Fill the team with men and women who are capable of thinking and acting as individuals and are not dependent on being hand-fed by a boss. Create accountability for members' work. Standards should be established against which members can measure their own progress. There's no team leader to do it for them. Empower the team. The team must be given the authority to make decisions, carry them out, and accept responsibility for their success or failure. Train members both in the technical phases of their jobs and in how to work together as a team. New teams often have a hard time getting underway. Members are not accustomed to working without a leader, and there will be times when they just don't know how to proceed. Companies that have been successful in using self-directed teams recognize that it takes time to make them work. Some companies have a team coordinator on the management staff to help new teams over the fits and starts of maturing. Others retain outside consultants to keep an eye on teams by being available for training, and counsel teams and team members when necessary to keep teams on track.