Leadership in Teams and Decision Groups

There are various types of teams in an organization include functional work teams, self managed teams, top executive teams and cross-functional teams. The differences in the teams emanate from the autonomy in determining the team’s mission, authority of the team leader, stability of team members and diversity of the members. Cross-functional teams These teams are formed in an organization to enhance coordination of interdependent activities among the diverse units. Cross-functional teams are composed of representative from all the units and sometimes include representatives from outside the organization like suppliers and partners (McCallin, 2003). To ensure their smooth operations, the teams are given the role to plan and conduct complex work that demands high level of coordination and cooperation among the parties. This type of team is formed when an organization is involved in the development of new product or in the introduction of a new information system that affect the operations of the different units. The members of the cross-functional teams will always remain the same individuals from other particular units and most cross-functional teams are temporary i.e. they are formed to achieve specific organization mission. In order to benefit the organization, the teams must be flexible and efficient in deploying resources and personnel in order to unfold the solution to the problems and challenges. The representatives from the various units should be persons with expertise to help add value to the team’s decision. These teams have the potential to generate new and innovative ideas from the diverse members with differing backgrounds and improved coordination (McCallin, 2003). Moreover, the team have to view the problems in a wider perspective if the organization successes to be achieved. However, cross-functional teams are faced with challenges. The use of jargon creates communication barrier that might impair the realization of the team goals. Secondly, the loyalty of the members to their respective functions should not override the objectives of the team but rather focus on how their diversity can help in realizing the team’s objectives. Managing the disagreements and tight deadline is further essential in the successful operation of the team. A leader with good interpersonal skills and expert position power is needed. This will ensure he leads the people with conflicting interests and resolve the likely problems with the power that is vested on his position (2011). Additionally, the leader should have technical expertise, project management skills, and cognitive skills that will enable understanding of the complex problems. Finally, the leader of a cross functional team should also have political skills necessary in formation of coalitions and in gaining resources. Apart from the skills, a cross-functional leader needs to exhibit some leadership behaviors i.e. being visionary to help in formulating strategic objectives and generating ideas. The leader should also require to have the ability to organize and plan activities by creating deadlines and standards. Besides, the leader should be self-integrating i.e. promoting cooperation and equal participating on top of dealing with the external parties. A cross-functional leader should be one who can forecast emerging challenges and problems and influence outsiders. Self managed work teams As opposed to the cross