The TeamNet Factor
Bringing the Power of Boundary Crossing Into the Heart of Your Business
by Jessica Lipnack and Jeffrey Stamps
"If you want to keep up to date in the networking megatrend, The TeamNet Factor is an absolute must."
Patricia Aburdene and John Naisbitt, authors of Megatrends 2000
"The TeamNet Factor provides an immediate management approach for improving private enterprise performance. Drawing on twenty years' research, the authors deliver a trickle-up process of getting people educated to think for themselves in teams....This conceptual yet practical book reveals how to create competitive-cooperative networks of business, institutional, and functional teams for organizational, competitive advantage."
Robert Kirk Mueller, former Chairman, Arthur D. Little, Inc.
"This extraordinary book is as useful to small businesses seeking to compete in the new global economy as it is to the Fortune 500 seeking to position their for the 21st century. The TeamNet Factor is at once profound and profoundly practical."
Robert E. Friedman, Chair, The Corporation for Enterprise Development
"Liberated thinking comes from the team approach, which transcends traditional corporate boundaries. The future for enlightened, pioneering corporations must be based on partnerships between different business leaders, different corporations and different cultures, in short, the teamnet approach."
Anita Roddick, founder and Managing Director, The Body Shop
"A World That Works"
The Road to Teamnets
Crossing the New Frontiers
- Benefits of Boundary Crossing
Co-opetition: When Competitors Cooperate
- Caution: Paradigm Shift Ahead
- What Is A Boundary Crossing Teamnet?
Teaming Inside and Out
- "Small is Bountiful:" Teamnets Among the Little People
- Some Big Problems Teamnets Solve for Little Companies
Can We Partner?
- Problems in Paradise
- Building a New Plane in Many Places
Barbecued Sushi and Competition Among Nations
The One-Page Project: When Everything Clicks
A Handful of Principles
The Dynamic Balance of Competition and Cooperation
- 1. Clarify the Unifying Purpose
- 2. Identify Independent Members
- 3. Create Voluntary Links
- 4. Recognize the Power of Multiple Leaders
- 5. Stay Connected at All Levels
Armstrong: How the Linoleum Company Became a Leader in People Networks
- Globalizing the Business
- Members and Purpose
- Leaders and Links
The Philadelphia Guild: The Tale of the Five Woodworkers
- Midwifing the Birth
- Links and Leaders
- Purpose and Levels
Asea Brown Boveri: Turning Contradictions to Advantage
- Design for Organizational Advantage
- Purpose and Links
- Members and Leaders
Three Cases in Point
- Levels Within Levels Within Levels
- Level 1 &emdash; Small Group
- Level 2 &emdash; Large Organization
- Level 3 &emdash; Enterprise
- Level 4 &emdash; Alliance
- Level 5 &emdash; Economic Megagroup
- Calibrating Co-opetition
David and Goliath Have Common Interests
This Is A Way to Run a Railroad
Meet the Lattice: The Free-Form Organization that Makes Gore-Tex
- Stump Speech to the Tribes
- The Lattice Behind the Facade
- Vow to Avoid Bureaucracy
A Teamnet For Every Occasion
- The Team As Hero
- Boundaries: Get a Grip on a Point of Reference
- Teamnets Across the Levels
- Small Group
- Large Organization
- Economic Megagroup
Teaming with Life
- P&G Pioneers in Groups, Not Just Soap
- How "Made in Japan" Came to Mean Quality
- The Executive Washroom Team
The Synergy of the Large Organization
- Toyota's Quality Invention: Cross-Functions
- Empowered Clusters
- Mining Digs Up Socio-Tech Systems
Big Blue to Baby Blues?
The "Global Network" Company: "A Work in Progress"
- Corning's Internal Drive for Quality
- Corning and its Partners
- Kaizen: "Ongoing Improvement Involving Everyone"
- Internal Markets Replace Bureaucracy
- The Spider's Web: How Teamnets Deliver Service
- Core Firms not Hollow Corporations
Teamnets in Alliance
- "Trust One Another:" The Key to Joint Ventures
- Partnering As a Matter of Strategy
- By Adding Value
- Joint R&D Before the Competition
- Corporate Venturing
- A Step Short of the Altar
- From Supplier to Partner
- "Winning Combinations"
- On the Small Business Frontier
Teamnets on a Grand Scale
- Keiretsu: Not Just Japanese
- Voluntary Geographies of Places and Ideas
- Developing Economies
How Fast is Your Environment?
- Pace of Change Affects Organization
- Not Only Father Knows Best
How a Bolt-Maker "Did a Denmark"
Business Networking in Small Towns and Big
New Ideas in the Old South
- Born in Atlanta
- A Symbol of Hope in Arkansas
- North Carolina's Successful Pilots
- An Association Becomes a Network
- A Teamnet in a Teamnet
- An Encyclopedia of Flexible Networks&emdash;in Hypertext
Five Principles of Flexible Business Networks
- 1. United by the Competitive Purpose
- 2. Independent Sovereign Companies
- 3. Linking Sovereigns
- 4. Multiple Leaders, Private and Public
- 5. Plugging in at Many Levels
Watching A Paradigm Shift
What About Jobs?
- Saving Jobs
- Improving Jobs
- Creating Jobs
Small Business on a Large Scale
- The New Italian Renaissance
- Into the Land of Legos: Denmark's Story
- How Controversy Raises the Volume
- Made in Denmark
- Garments&emdash;Sewing Together a Line
- Danish Furniture&emdash;Made in Taiwan
- Landscaping, Golf Courses and&emdash;Cemeteries!
- A Special Ability in Disability Aids
- Even Lawyers
- Not to Mention Big Business
- Results to the National Bottom Line
- Small Can't Do the Job Alone
- And Elsewhere in Europe
- Oregon's Networking "Laws"
- Auntie Trust
No Frills Government Strategies
- The Business Justification: Meet the Need
- Treating Many Firms As One
- Link and Learn
- Strange Bedfellows
- Always Begin with People
TEAMNET Version 1.0: The Application Program
How the TEAMNET 1.0 Manual is Organized
The Teamnet Checklist
- Common View?
The Teamnet How-To
- Step 1. Clarify Purpose
- Step 2. Identify Members
- Step 3. Create Links
- Step 4. Multiply Leaders
- Step 5. Integrate Levels
Thinking About Teamnets
- Be Explicit: Mission and Goals
- Your Customer's Customer is Your Customer
- Who's in the Game? Players and Stakeholders
- Leaders and Decisions
- Remember the T-Group: Attend to Group Dynamics
- Consider the Life Cycle: The Team Stages
Phases To Growing Your Teamnet
- Phase 1. Startup: Sizing up the Problem
- Phase 2. Launch: Getting it off the Ground
- Phase 3. Perform: Making Things Work in Real Time
- Phase 4. Test: Shaking Out the Results
- Phase 5. Deliver: Handing if Off to the Customer
On the Wings of a Big Bid
- Being Asked to Dance
- The 3-Day Plane Plan
- The 3-Week Bid Plan
- The 3-Month Plane Plan
Planning Is Doing
- Invest in Beginnings
- Where Journalism Comes in Handy: The Five Questions
- The Process of Doing the Design
The First Run-through
Turning Questions Into Answers
The Second Run-through
- T1. Set the Targets
- T2. Define the Tasks
- T3. Estimate the Times
- T4. Select the Teams
- T5. Choose the Territories
Purpose Is Where It All Begins
- Making the Implicit Explicit
- Quantifying Quality
- Science and the Bottom Line
The Toolbox for Teamnet Support
- Managing the Data of Change
- T1: Targeting Targets
- The Check-out Counter
- T2: "Mini-purpose" Tasks
- Never Underestimate the Importance of Lists
- Frameworks: Putting a List into a Bigger Container
- T3: Moving with the Times
- Task Flow
- Task Schedules
- T4: Tracking Teams
- Cross Boundary Chart
- Capture the Learning
- T5: New Territories
- Do You Have Your Directory?
- The Team Bible: The Handbook
Planning and Managing by Tasks
- Common Process, Multiple Views
- Threading Tasks Through Tools
- Work Process Flow-Down
Some Planning Guidelines
- Those that Do, Plan
- Rules for Not Getting Stuck
- 1. Plan, Plan, Plan...but only as Necessary
- 2. Iterate, Iterate.
- 3. The 80/20 Rule
- 4. The 85/15 Rule
Public Triumph, Personal Failure
Failures of Process
Living the Zig-Zags
- Beware the Chickcharnies
- DAY 1&emdash;Monday: Down
- DAY 2&emdash;Tuesday: Down, Then Up
- DAY 3&emdash;Wednesday: Some Up, Mostly Down
- DAY 4&emdash;Thursday: Up
- DAY 5&emdash;Friday: Very Up
- DAY 6&emdash;Monday: Very Down
- DAY 7&emdash;Tuesday: Down, But Getting Up
- DAY 8&emdash;Wednesday: Up, Way Down, Up Again
- DAY 9&emdash;Thursday: Up Presentation, Down Decision
- DAY 10&emdash;Friday: Strangely Up, But Facing a Big Down
Five Good Ways to Fail
- 1. Purpose: From No Glue to Groupthink
- 2. Members: From No Independence to Stubbornness
- 3. Links: From No Connections to Overload
- 4. Leaders: From No Leaders to No Followers
- 5. Levels: From No Up Links to No Down Links
Command, Control, and Prevention
Teamnets, Teamnets, Teamnets Everywhere
- Unity in Diversity
- The Most Common Teamnet: The Small Group
- When a Mob Clicks: Large Organization Teamnets
- When the Whole Company Is a Teamnet
- The Alliance Strategy
- Redrawing the Territory: Economic Megagroup Teamnets
Critical Success Factor #1
- Glue by Warp and Woof
With Tools in Hand
- Teamnet Activities Chart: Following the Principles Across the Phases
- Teamnet Information Chart: Tracking the Method Across the Phases
- Teamnet Tools: Following the Method According to the Principles
- Purpose is the Vital Center
- Invest in the Beginnings
- Navigating with Your Plan
- Use Your Plan as an Interface
What To Do
Revolution by Design: The Clinton Teamnet
Some Free Advice for the Consummate Networker
- Clarify Purpose: "It's the Economy, Stupid"
- Identify Members: 5.5 Handshakes to Everybody
- Create Links: Network Superhighway for Teamnets
- Multiply Leaders: We Don't Have a Leader to Waste
- Integrate Levels: Chief Hierarch to Chief Networker
Teamnets in the Grassroots
- The Goddess of Democracy
When Business Is Like Politics
- Technology and Organizational Networks Interact
- Participatory Democracy
- The Big Boom
- Globally Distributed Global Work
- Networks of Nations
- Learning Across Boundaries
Global people network
Bureaucracies and Teamnets
- Centralized Hierarchy and Specialized Bureaucracy
- Why Bureaucracies Fail
- Bye-bye Bureaucracy
- Teamnets of the Functional Persuasion
- Internal Functions
- External Functions
- Divisional Teamnets
- Internal Divisions
- External Divisions
- Matrix Teamnets
- Internal Matrix
- External Matrix
Holism for the Left Brain
- Networks are Systems
- Principle 1: Synergy Becomes You
- Principle 2: The Best Member is a Holon
- Principle 3: The Inter-Connected Web of Relationships
- Principle 4: Representative Leadership
- Principle 5: Hierarchical Levels
- Love & Marriage, Horse & Carriage: The Complementarity of Co-opetition
- Phases of Growth
In many ways, we started this book 25 years ago at 46 Leckford Road in Oxford, England, where we met as American students in 1968. We shared a vision that seemed like a dream in the 1960s: a world that works. For all the nightmarish interludes that continue to plague the world, we still hold to our original inspiration.
"A World That Works"
We believe the teamnet factor can help solve the world's problems.
"To move the world," said Archimedes, "give me a lever and a place to stand." The lever we use increases people's ability to do things together. By providing more information about horizontal organizations, we complement traditional expertise in hierarchy. By offering tools to improve group work, we help people tackle problems of all shapes and sizes with greater effectiveness.
Piecemeal solutions to urgent crises are monstrously time consuming. In the end, they are ineffective because real problems don't come one-by-one. Problems are messy creatures. They appear in untidy clumps, hooked to other quagmires near and far.
Problems cross boundaries. While distributed, they also interconnect. Thanks to new technology, so do people. With new opportunities to connect, people who work apart become more productive. Fortunately, the need to work faster, smarter, and more flexibly dovetails with this new capability. With a big enough view, you ultimately can tie together most problems in business as well as in every other important part of life.
Teamnets give an organizational advantage for all sizes of companies:
The TeamNet Factor is twenty years in the making. We have lived teamnets as well as studied them. We have endured and delighted in them, created and buried them. And we have learned, practiced, revised, and revisited teamnet ideas as a full time job for the last decade.
When we returned from Oxford, we took a path we hadn't anticipated. Instead of taking jobs in big companies or universities (or moving to a farm to grow organic vegetables), we started our own business, simply by developing and selling our expertise. Our first foray was in the field of cable television. It appealed to us because of its promise for distributed, two-way communication. In 1971, we bought a computer-and so many since that we could start a museum-that radically changed our ability to process information. With this programmable calculator, we developed an econometric model that assessed the viability of cable television franchises. We found ourselves competing for contracts against RAND Corporation and Mitre, and when we sometimes won, we realized that we were in the consulting business.
It's been more than 20 years, and we're still in the consulting business. We've always been self-employed, and we've always had to face the same problems other small business people have. Fortunately, our parents and grandparents on both sides of our families also owned their own businesses, which gave us certain advantages. We knew from family experience what it was like to have employees, worry about cash flow, satisfy customers, and do the books. This life experience was very different from what we learned from our Oxford tutors.
Through an unpredictable series of extraordinarily lucky, often last-minute breaks (one dear friend describes our lives as "The Perils of Pauline"), we've had the chance to work on some very large-scale projects. In the mid-1970s, we worked for three years as consultants to the US Department of Commerce Fire Administration's new effort to develop a fire prevention education program throughout the US. This gave us the chance to think about solving national problems while working in such diverse localities as Dade County, Florida, Tulsa, Oklahoma, Salem, Oregon, and downtown Chicago.
In the meantime, our consulting business flourished, but grew simultaneously boring and frantic. Then one day, we saw the results of our research on another project used for purposes that clashed with our ethics. Burned out, within a few months (the same time as the birth of our first child) we stopped all consulting, and retreated to our house to rethink our purpose. We studied systems theory, finished a doctorate (and had it published), wrote some articles (and a book that was never published), and generally anguished over what would come next.
About a year later, we began to write a book about networks-informal, peer based, horizontally structured organizations. We started our research in 1979 by writing to one person whom we knew to be interested in the idea. Robert A. Smith, III, who died in 1990, was our first network correspondent. Having recently retired from NASA, Bob then was living quietly in Abbeville, Alabama, but his network reached around the world. Using letters as his primary medium of communication, Bob had a network unlike anyone else's: at one time or another, he sent us Ted Koppel's and Alvin Toffler's home addresses, put us in direct communication with Warren Bennis and Norman Cousins, and led us, literally, to a list of people that numbers in the hundreds of thousands.
Bob responded to our initial inquiry by sending us the names of nine other people. We wrote to them, and six wrote back, suggesting more people to contact. We followed up on those names, and within 18 months, we received the names of 50,000 people around the world interested in networking. We wrote to 4000 of those people, and 1600 wrote back, a remarkable 40% response rate. (In the midst of all this, our second daughter appeared.) Those were the people whose organizations we chronicled in our first book, Networking: The First Report and Directory (New York: Doubleday, 1982). Since that time, people in more than 70 countries have contacted us about their networks.
The reaction to our first book astonished us. Although we did our initial research largely in the grassroots and counter-culture, our response came from the mainstream, particularly corporate America. Soon we were back into full-time consulting, this time with Fortune 500-type clients. We became small business people who lived in the big business world.
One opportunity came in 1984 when we served as faculty at the Western Behavioral Sciences Institute's executive management program in La Jolla, California. Among the students were executives from a number of high tech firms, including Bill Johnson of Digital Equipment Corporation, the Vice President who led Digital's computer networking effort for many years. He saw a fit between his company's products and our work. For the next seven years, we worked closely with Digital, both on internal projects and with Digital's customers, among the world's largest users of computer networks.
Another 1984 surprise came when Japan's Economic Planning Agency translated our book; Toppan Printing Company, the third largest publisher in the world, printed it; and President-sha, one of Japan's largest houses, published it. The book caused a small group in Japan to form the Networking Research Society. Supported by the Toyota Foundation, the country's largest philanthropy, they started study groups throughout the country using Networking (also its title in Japanese) as the study guide. Their mission was to understand a first in the country's history: the sudden spontaneous appearance of thousands of small independent voluntary associations all over Japan. Over the next five years, the group surveyed thousands of groups and hundreds of municipal governments. Asahi Journal, the Japanese weekly magazine comparable to The Atlantic Monthly, published 200 consecutive stories about the country's networking movement.
In 1989, Toyota Foundation invited us to keynote the First Japan Networker's Conference along with numerous other gatherings. During that tour, we met people from all walks of Japanese life-disability rights activists, farmers, artists, students, teachers, journalists, business executives, doctors, lawyers, and government officials. In Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan's second largest "state," we met Governor Kazuji Nagasu, described to us as "Japan's Mario Cuomo," who said, "We use networking to run the Kanagawa government."
Businesses and institutions in many other parts of the world also are taking great strides with the idea. For the past 10 years, we have worked on one project after another developing networks in large companies in the North America, Europe, and Australia. At the same time, we've accumulated voluminous files of information about small companies achieving success, particularly in Europe, by working together in "flexible business networks."
In the fall of 1991, we began work in earnest on this book. In December of that year, Jean-Pierre Pellegrin, a French official at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris, visited our offices at The Networking Institute in Boston. On leave from OECD at the time, he was doing research at the Kennedy School at Harvard. Jean-Pierre had a very strong message to deliver: pay attention to flexible business networks. More accurately, he pounded the table and demanded that we start writing immediately about this little reported breaking business story. As a result of Jean-Pierre's urging, we have connected with scores of business people and policy makers actively engaged in networks in both Europe and the US.
On Thanksgiving Day, 1989, an editorial entitled "Networking Concept," ran in The Daily Yomiuri, Japan's largest newspaper with a circulation of 10 million. Its message is pertinent to business. "Today, we have almost endless problems...It is sometimes difficult if not impossible to properly tackle problems within the framework of existing isolated organizations... Networking emphasizes horizontal human relations among those who share common values, beyond ideological differences and geographical locations...This new concept was introduced seven years ago in a book titled Networking, coauthored by an American couple, Jessica Lipnack and Jeffrey Stamps...Networking aims at rejuvenating the spirit of mutual help among people unknown to each other and linking diverse groups together."
At a time when business looks bleak, jobs are dwindling, and even the world's powerhouse economies are in recession, successful business ideas are very good and very welcome news. Flexible business networks of companies of all sizes are doing very well. Successful businesses create jobs. Jobs provide income to meet people's needs. Full stomachs enable full minds. Creativity flourishes. Cut-throat competition gives way to compassionate cooperation.
A quarter of a century after our Oxford vision, we see a world that works rising above the horizon.
"Networks of People,"
Network World, 10/1/94
"Eye on Quality,"
Total Quality Newsletter, 8/1/94
"Brave New Leadership,"
Government Executive, 7/1/94
"The TeamNet Player,"
ASID Report, 5/1/94
"Company Alliances For Market Muscle,"
Nation's Business, 2/1/94
"The TeamNet Factor,"
HR Magazine, 12/1/93
"The Team Solution for Effective Project Management,"
Total Quality Environmental Management, 12/1/93
"Networking with the enemy,"
"Start with some high-tech magic...,"
Business Week, 11/1/93
"The TeamNet Factor,"
St. Louis Commerce, 11/1/93
Tom Peters On Achieving Excellence, 11/1/93
"At the forefront of an organizational revolution,"
New Hampshire Business Review, 10/29/93
Rochester Business Magazine, 10/1/93
TriState Manufacturer's Network, 10/1/93
"Gore group took a hint from W. Newton couple,"
Boston Globe, 9/8/93
Engineering Dimensions, 9/1/93
"Team Networks: A Proposition to Meet the Competition,"
Industry Forum, 9/1/93
"Keeping the Lightning Bottled,"