X-Teams: How to Build Teams that Lead, Innovate, and Succeed

  • 5h 9m 9s
  • Deborah Ancona, Henrik Bresman
  • Gildan Media
  • 2023

Why do good teams fail? Very often, argue Deborah Ancona and Henrik Bresman, it is because they are looking inward instead of outward. Based on years of research examining teams across many industries, Ancona and Bresman show that traditional team models are falling short, and that what’s needed--and what works--is a new brand of team that emphasizes external outreach to stakeholders, extensive ties, expandable tiers, and flexible membership.

The authors highlight that X-teams not only are able to adapt in ways that traditional teams aren’t, but that they actually improve an organization’s ability to produce creative ideas and execute them—increasing the entrepreneurial and innovative capacity within the firm. What’s more, the new environment demands what the authors call “distributed leadership,” and the book highlights how X-teams powerfully embody this idea.

About the Author

Deborah Ancona is the Seley Distinguished Professor of Management at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, and faculty director of the MIT Leadership Center.

Henrik Bresman is Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior at INSEAD. He received his PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also holds a degree in Economics (MSc) from the Stockholm School of Economics.

In this Audiobook

  • Introduction: When Bad Things Happen to Good Teams
  • Chapter 1 - Avoid the Downward Spiral: Our Old Models Don’t Work
  • Chapter 2 - An Exponentially Changing World: New Kinds of Organizations, New Kinds of Teams
  • Chapter 3 - X-Team Principle 1: Out before In: Engage in External Activity
  • Chapter 4 - X-Team Principle 2: In Matters, Too: Build a Robust Internal Environment
  • Chapter 5 - X-Team Principle 3: Pivot along the Way: Make Timely Transitions
  • Chapter 6 - X-ifying the Team: Six Steps to Make It Happen
  • Chapter 7 - From One Team to Many: The X-Team Program
  • Chapter 8 - Crafting an Infrastructure for Innovation: Embedding X-Teams


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