PINOT is a Ning group started by Dr. Allison Rossett and Dr. Rebecca Vaughan Frazee. PINOT stands for Performance Improvement Non-Training Solutions, so the site is all about pretty much everything that supports performance improvement except training.
My colleagues (Erika Romanesko, B.J. Haddad, and Bobby McCon) and I just started a group on PINOT called “Harmonious Cross-Functional Teams.”
Why a focus on cross-functional teams?
All teams have performance challenges, but cross-functional teams are symbolic of the shift from a command-and-control style of organizational structure to the matrix model you’ll increasingly find at many organizations. Cross-functional teams include members who report to different managers. These team members can have significantly different approaches and perspectives, shaped by the unique communities of practice to which they belong. Cross-functional teams are analogous to a band (or orchestra, if you prefer), where individuals play different instruments. They must work together to create harmony. These types of teams can differ in how formalized their leadership structure is. Sometimes there’s a defined leader dictated by an organizational position (think maestro), but sometimes the structure’s much looser and leaders spring up as the occasion demands (like the leader of a rock band—it’s not always the guitarist).
Drawing on different perspectives
In developing our group, we considered that our audience would have different needs based on their unique perspectives. With this in mind, we structured our site to provided resources and discussion opportunities tied to three different points of view:
You’ll find discussion postings organized by these general categories. So please join in and add your own. But don’t feel limited by the categories—there are many aspects of cross-functional team performance and workplace learning that need to be explored. For example, we’ve added a post on ice breakers and the more horrifying team building activities we’ve seen. We’re also asking people to weigh in on their favorite tools for team work and collaboration. Every month, we’ll showcase the top tools selected by readers and highlight them in our Web 2.0 tools for teams page.
And speaking of pages…
In addition to discussion forums we invite people to join, we’ve provided resources on our group’s pages you may find useful.
- Case studies: Learn how different organizations tackle team issues
- Websites and media you’ll want to return to again and again
- Web 2.0 tools for teams: As mentioned this will be changing every month
- Books and articles for your library
- People to follow who are influential on various aspects of team building and workplace learning
- RSS feeds of blogs and useful websites you may want to add to your collection
We invite you to help us build these resource collections. See anything missing? Add a comment. We’d love to hear from you.
Connecting to a larger community
We built this site to serve a larger audience than our little group, so we hope you’ll join and share your wisdom, experiences, and stories. The site’s only a few days old so we’ll be adding posts and resources. In creating the site, we conducted a review of the literature, tapped into our own experiences, and connected to others in our own personal learning networks. But of course the whole point of building a group like this is to expand our learning networks. And although you may be experiencing social network fatigue, we hope you join us, because:
- Odds are you won’t find another group quite like this
- We’re a friendly sort
- Whether you’re in a corporation, a non-profit, or even in education, you’ve probably experienced both the rewards and challenges of working in a cross-functional team—You have something to say, and we’d like to hear it.
A roundup of postings
These are some of the topics you’ll find in our discussion forum.
- An individual team member’s perspective (find out about the “terror at the team meeting”)
- Challenges and rewards for effective team leadership
- What makes for a high performance team?
- Games for team building
- Does your team have a psychological safety net?
- The 9 types of collaborators
- How does organization culture affect team success?
- Setting team expectations and objectives
- Non-traditional team-building programs and activities
- Breaking down silos: Fighting resistance to cross-functional teams
- Share your top 3 team tools
- Making team work rewarding
- Let’s talk about our ice-breaker experiences
Join our group and start your own discussions! Help us discover best practices and work on solving challenges relating to cross-functional teams.
To learn more about PINOT visit the Welcome Center and browse the site. There’s something for everyone interested in non-training solutions to workplace challenges or looking to complement their training efforts.