Google’s “Three Thirds”
1.Using Table 11–1 as a guide, what needs to be done to turn Google’s HR group into a true team? Google’s current HR as described in the book works more as groups than as a true team, as defined by Katzenback and Smith (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2013) There are elements of a team such as they are people with complementary skills and I believe that the groups have the same common commitment, to get the highest performance out of it existing employees and hire the best people.
The three groups have highly specialized skills and I believe trying to integrate these skills throughout the team would probably dilute the performance. The problem for leadership is to combine the accomplishments of the groups in a way that weighs each group properly and recognizes each for its value. A role leadership could take on is to facilitate problem solving situations amongst the three groups with the common goal of seeing how each team can contribute to a problem and how their solutions can work together to make an even better decision.
An impartial leader whose specialized skill is in facilitating groups, expressing the goals as a team, reviewing the performance as a team, will help draw each group into the team concept. 2.Should Google’s HR team members have been instructed ahead of time in the teamwork competencies in Table 11–3?
Explain how it should have been done. Facilitation is the key role of HR in this case of highly specialized, highly effective groups and the table (11-3) is about bringing a team together, so the answer is yes, HR team members would benefit from this type of teamwork building. Effective work teams have a greater chance of success if they are nurtured and facilitated by the organization (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2013, p. 304) People are most effective when they know what is expected of them and those goals are specific. Then people with the desire to be effective and get ahead will do not only what is expected but will likely push beyond the expected. 3.How important is trust with this sort of cross-functional team? Explain how to quickly build trust among cross-functional team members who bring a diverse array of backgrounds and perspectives to the table. In order to build trust there are 6 guidelines that should be followed; communication, support, respect, fairness, predictability, and competence [ (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2013, pp. 313-314) ]. These six guidelines are important for cross functional teams because trust is an important piece of making a team work effectively. With diverse groups come diverse cultural value systems and this is a basis of distrust. Sim Sitkin and Nancy Roth, researchers from the Univeristy of Texas found that distrust occurs when “an individual or group is perceived as not sharing key cultural values” (Sitkin, Roth, 1993) So in Google’s case with such diverse and highly functioning team trust building is an important task for leadership. The key to this is having a leader to work with the three groups facilitating conflict and more importantly build relationships amongst groups.
The team leader must also present positive project views to each team that increases the potential for sharing of resources and information. By doing this, the projects the groups are working on become the team project. 4.Which type of cohesiveness, socio-emotional or instrumental, is more important in this type of cross-functional team? Explain. Instrumental cohesiveness is a sense of togetherness that develops when group members are mutually dependent on one another because they believe they could not achieve the group’s goals by acting separately (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2013) In the cross functional group at Google instrumental cohesiveness needs to be focused on primarily. The importance of instrumental cohesiveness works best for these large cross functional teams because they each have a specific skill set that when combined will make an effective and successful team. Hence the team will be cohesive because they know they are dependent on each other to accomplish the group’s goals. Again the team leader is the facilitator of this.
The team leader pulls in all groups to update and clarify goals, projects, changes, etc and gets input on how each group will contribute to achieving the one goal. The team leader makes sure each group is involved and that they are working a task that best suits their needs. While group leaders are together, the team leader recognizes each group and members contribution. This multi stage interaction creates a cohesiveness with the team and also builds trust as the teams sees each other shared goal and less of their perceived differences. Tasks that are considered important are likely to increase motivation, promote collective efficacy, and strengthen task cohesion as the team strives towards accomplishing its goal(s). Rather than provide individual incentives (which can lead to competition and conflict), group feedback and rewards are encouraged. (Oldham & Hackman, 2010). 5.What advice would you give Google’s Laszlo Bock about managing a cross-functional team, team building, and team leadership.
My advice to Bock would be to set the HR part of the organization up with team leaders whose goal is to interact with each of the “thirds” and get each group working towards a common goal, understanding each other’s contribution and recognizing each group special skills and how they pertain to the team goal. Google is a leader in technology so using the appropriate technology to bring remote groups or group members into the team discussion will not be an obstacle to succeeding in the team building. The team leader will be constantly working with the groups on preparing them for new projects, conflict resolution, reviewing team’s goals and accomplishments and encouraging collaboration and facilitating team building activities.
Kreitner, Robert, and Angelo Kinicki. Organizational Behavior. 10th ed. Boston, MA: Irwin/McGraw-Hill, 2013. Print.
Webber, Shelia S. “Leadership and Trust Facilitating Cross-functional Team Success.”Journal of Management Development 21.3 (2002): 201-14. Print.
Sitkin, Sim B., and Nancy L. Roth. “Explaining the Limited Effectiveness of Legalistic “Remedies” of Trust/Distrust.” Organizational Science 4.3 (1993): n. pag. JSTOR. Web. 08 Nov. 2013.
Oldham, Greg R., and J. Richard Hackman. “Not What It Was and Not What It Will Be: The Future of Job Design Research.” Journal of Organizational Behavior 31.2-3 (2010): 463-79. Print.
Cite this Google Three Thirds HR
Google Three Thirds HR. (2017, Jan 23). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/google-three-thirds-hr/