Seven Compelling Reasons For a Company to Organize in Self-directed, Client-based Teams.

The self-directed team (working in a full-feedback environment) organizational model delivers:

  1. Competitive advantage when recruiting quality personnel. (See earlier chapter, "A Relentless Search for Ways to Maximize Human Potential.")
  2. Improved associate retention resulting from a more challenging and satisfying job.
  3. Enhanced client service as a result of better communications with the client, which is the result of direct contact with the clients by more team members.
  4. Improved client retention as a result of better service and multiple points of contact. This results in more individuals having relationships with more client contacts. Workers value client contact. It's a show of trust. Therefore, staff turnover is reduced when more people have client contact.
  5. Higher quality work as a result of people feeling more responsible for their contribution to the work.
  6. Improved operations effectiveness and efficiencies resulting from having fewer people "supervising" and more people actually doing the work. The conflict of interest of reporting simultaneously to a department head and the client has been removed, which eliminates "job security make-work" so common in multi-layered hierarchies. It also eliminates time delays created by too many internal approvals.
  7. Enabling of reasonable profits as a result of the improved operational efficiencies and all the team members being responsible for the economic outcome for the agency and the client. This results in reduced write-offs due to better communication among the team members. Information theory says that every relay doubles the noise and cuts the message in half. The objective then becomes to have the lowest number of layers to keep the organization as flat as possible.

Flattening an organization takes commitment and stamina. The uncommitted need not apply.