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Organisational performance

It’s a team sport

Hierarchies are being displaced by teams at organisations across industries and geographies. How can senior leaders, HR departments, and rank-and-file workers get teaming “right”?

The shift from hierarchies to cross-functional teams is well underway. Our data shows that adopting team structures improves organisational performance for those that have made the journey; organisations that have not risk falling further behind. These organisations can look at several ways to drive progress, such as educating leaders on how to operate in cross-functional teams and reconfiguring rewards and performance management to support team performance.

One of the fundamental changes in business today is the steady shift away from hierarchical models of management. Over the past few years, the terms “digital,” “agile,” and “network” have become commonplace. In our 2017 Global Human Capital Trends survey, “building the organisation of the future” was the No. 1 trend respondents identified, with 88 percent viewing it as important or very important. Eight percent of this year’s survey respondents told us they now operate almost wholly in teams, with another 23 percent saying that most work is done in teams within a hierarchical framework (figure 1). And 65 percent of our respondents rated the ability to lead through influence as a requirement for 21st-century leadership, building management models around persuasion.

2019 Deloitte Human Capital Trends Report for South Africa
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