California Management Review
California Management Review is a premier academic management journal published at UC Berkeley
by Inga Carboni, Rob Cross, and Amy C. Edmondson
Image Credit | Dave Cutler
Today’s organizations rely on networks of dynamic systems of “agile” teams to get work done. Teams are distributed, transient, and loosely bounded in service of responsiveness and innovation. The key to this new way of doing work is managing the networked ecosystem in which teams are embedded. But in the context of leading multiple teams with fuzzy boundaries and shifting membership, the average overwhelmed manager quickly defaults to what is nearest in urgency: managing internal team dynamics and responding to internal customer demands. Drawn from field interviews with 100 top- performing team leaders, this article presents a framework-for-action to leaders who want to engage the networked ecosystem with intention and precision, including specific tactics for identifying and influencing high-leverage stakeholders.