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Work Team Effectiveness & Organization Culture

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Work Team Effectiveness and Organizational Culture

Gene One Benchmarking

March 20, 2007

Gene One Benchmarking


Change is not always easy to come by. Sometimes change causes a good thing to go bad, while at other times it can cause bad things to improve. Businesses have to be ready for change management at any juncture within their life cycle if they expect to have longevity within the industries that they operate. However, these changes can only be overcome through positive direction from leaders within the company and through that organization’s infrastructure maintaining similar mindsets throughout its makeup. Change can carry with it a multiplicity of risks and gains. It is up to every person within a company to either capitalize on the gains or mitigate the risk involved when change occurs. This paper will assess a scenario entitled Gene One as it compares and contrast companies that have dealt with similar issues regarding the changes, leadership, and mindsets with their companies. Since change does encompass an array of issues this paper will narrow that list by benchmarking and focusing on two specific topics. Those two topics are organizational culture and work team effectiveness.

Scenario Background

The Gene One scenario deals with a biotech research and development (R&D) company. This company, from start up, built a reputation that presented them as industry leaders dedicated to developing products and implementing industry-changing concepts that would become contributable assets to society. Having grown into a $400 million company in just eight short years this company’s CEO, Don Ruiz, wants to take this company public within the next 36 months. Don Ruiz’s vision for the company has stirred change throughout every sector of the company because it was not discussed on a company wide level before being presented to the senior team. The senior team understands that this IPO venture will result in capital gains, but they are concerned with the timing of the proposal.

The company’s Chief HR Officer, Greg Thoman, along with Michelle Houghton, CFO, has raised the issue of organizational compliances and registration to company’s seeking to go public. Charles Jones, the Marketing Officer wants to know how projected marketing quotas will be met. Teri Robertson, CTO, along with R&D teams feel that making money and meeting quotas and deadlines will cut into the time that could be given to effective research. John Kirby and Susan Well, Executive Board Members, are questioning the skills sets of various senior team members and their ability to successfully carry out an IPO venture. Consequently, this IPO venture has brought about too many changes, too quickly, for this eight-year start up company to grasp in the 36-month time frame given by the CEO. Resignations are being drafted while other employees are just trying to cope with the perspective changes. In a final analysis of Gene One’s situations this company’s organizational culture and work team effectiveness is being called into question.

Work Team Effectiveness

Gene One is currently experiencing a lack of cohesive work environment due to the introduction of the IPO venture. “It has been proven that an effective team has five prerequisites to success: the right composition of team members; a clear definition of the scope of the work required; clear attainable goals; the time needed to achieve the goals; and the support of management” (Most, 2006, p.29). Don Ruiz is lacking the support and confidence of his senior team members as he seeks to move the business into the pubic sector. He does not have the needed support and confidence among the group, which are necessary commodities needed to nurture the natural desires for success. While this is a regular challenge faced by companies determined to become industry leaders, teams can easily self-destruct without a unified goal. Through comparing and contrasting the benchmarked companies of the United Parcel Service (UPS), Leapfrog School House, and Southwest Airlines, Gene One should be able to develop techniques that will lead to a better sense of work team effectiveness as they proceed with their IPO exploration.

Comparison and Contrast

Although these three companies operate in three unrelated industries, mail delivery services, education, and transportation, these companies reflect that work team effectiveness is topic worthy of consideration amongst any industry. Furthermore, these three companies convey the same principles throughout the scope of work team effectiveness. These companies believe that clear communication across their company’s structure creates an environment in which every employee and client can understand the directions of the company. They maintain the optimal levels of communication through training their employees as the company or industry standards evolve; then they convey this knowledge to their clientele. To clarify these concepts of clear communication and training observe some specific actions of each of these companies as they foster effective team atmospheres within their organizations.

Leapfrog’s leadership teams come together to ponder, network, and conduct open-minded discussions as they clarify and periodically redefine all stakeholders’ perspectives. They believe in spokesperson representation to signify the sound of one collective voice. UPS covers four categories to assure their company’s leadership is effective. Those categories are 1) enhanced work environment and customer relationships, 2) employee incentives to build trust and appreciation, 3) accountability, and 4) think-tank atmospheres to all mentioned categories to set the stage for innovative improvements. Southwest Airlines has developed an organizational practice that facilitates coordination among every sector of their company. This airline has set itself apart from the rest of the industry because they have built partnerships with the airports they serve. The elements of work team effectiveness demonstrated by these three benchmarked companies not only created conducive work environments, but also they help to establish each company’s organizational culture.



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