Extra-Dependent Teams : Realising the Power of Similarity book cover
1st Edition

Extra-Dependent Teams
Realising the Power of Similarity

ISBN 9781138106536
Published September 11, 2018 by Routledge
172 Pages 17 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Inter-Dependent Teams: people working together to achieve a common goal.

Extra-Dependent Teams: people learning together to develop a common practice.

Extra-Dependent Teams: Realising the Power of Similarity reframes the conventional mental model of teams into two complementary mental models of Extra-Dependent and Inter-Dependent Teams. Both types of team operate inside organisations today, but convention doesn’t realise their difference. Extra-Dependent Teams are present in organisations because of their similarity – they do similar work in similar ways, but don’t actually work together. People who lead them often feel like they are herding cats. Convention cites them as dysfunctional.

But cats don’t herd. They are independent whilst all being the same. Realising this difference provides new ways of understanding and addressing the problems that convention can’t overcome.

The reader will be introduced to the distinctness of Extra-Dependent Teams, their dynamics, how they perform, how they develop and how to lead them. Inspired by research on communities of practice and social identity, the book delivers an original and pragmatic approach to teams, being packed with examples, case studies, practical guidance and words of warning for managers and others about how to transform their Extra-Dependent Teams from peripheral problems into engines of innovation and growth.

Table of Contents

    Chapter 1: Herding Cats; Chapter 2: Schools of Herding; Chapter 3: Inter-Dependent and Extra-Dependent Teams; Chapter 4: The Bonding Power of Extra-Dependent Teams; Chapter 5: Extra-Dependent Team Dynamics; Chapter 6: Extra-Dependent Team Management; Chapter 7: Extra-Dependent Team Performance; Chapter 8: Extra-Dependent Team Development; Chapter 9: Extra-Dependent Team Leadership; Chapter 10: Reflection on Practice

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David Kesby has over 20 years’ experience of developing leaders and teams. He is Managing Director of Kesby & Co. Ltd, and an organisational coach.


'It is very rare to discover original thinking which encourages you to challenge the conventional theory of team leadership, management and development. David combines academic rigour and depth with a practical guide for the application of this new mental model in real business situations. A must read for all Team Leaders, Managers and Team Members.' - Gina Lodge, Chief Executive Officer, The Academy of Executive Coaching

'We’ve been so conditioned to expect and to accept the value of traditional team-working that it takes something like David Kesby’s Extra-Dependent Teams to break the spell. David’s explanation of how most of us actually work together presents a picture with which I instantly identified. Once David has distinguished traditional team-working from extra-dependent working, his advice on how to manage and lead in that context feels applied and intuitive. The way in which he reframes the reality of how many of us work in a networked world speaks to many of the challenges and opportunities of the modern workplace: lack of employee engagement, stubbornly poor organizational performance and a struggle to deal effectively with ambiguity and complexity.' - Jonathan Norman, Manager, Major Projects Knowledge Hub

'A fascinating synthesis of the work on teams and communities of practice. It will help managers benefit from key insights and approaches from both sides. We especially appreciate the emphasis on the importance of identity—a central aspect of our learning theory that has not been embraced in business to the same extent as communities of practice. If the reframing of communities of practice as extra-dependent teams helps managers understand and leverage the nuances of their differences and complementarity with traditional teams, David will have made a great contribution to the literature on organizations in the 21st century.' - Etienne and Beverly Wenger-Trayner, co-authors of Learning in Landscapes of Practice