Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Self-directed work teams (picture)

I read Kimball Fisher’s "Leading self-directed work teams". One interesting point of the book is that the book name (SDWT) is misleading. This name suggests than the teams doesn’t need Leadership, but they do! They need a different type of leadership. That’s why he propose "High performance work system" as a better name.

He uses the metaphor of sheep herding vs shepherding. While I was reading, it came to my mind this picture. I think that this picture is interesting, because cattle shepherding is less common.

On the picture, Don Guillermo Lebrón is leading cattle to the next paddock (grass land) in a case of Voisen Managed intensive grazing at “La Parcela”, in Félix Pérez Cardozo, Paraguay. Picture taken by Roberto Gabardini.

This way of leading cattle is a result of training, with rules and rituals that are followed daily, for instance, going to the water tank or moving to the next paddock.

Of course the analogy has its limits, but comparing the traditional cattle management with this one gives a contrast as strong as the one between traditional supervisor/Project Management and HPT leadership. (Spanish)