Book review: Superteams

Emma De Vita reviews the new book by consultant Khoi Tu


It's not often that the rock veterans the Rolling Stones feature in a business book, but this tome, by the consultant Khoi Tu, is an exception.

He says there are examples in all walks of life of teams performing exceptionally well, and he has identified seven, including the Stones, the charity the British Red Cross and the animation studio Pixar. There are many lessons we can learn from them: for example, that a great team needs talented individuals. Another lesson is to have a compelling common purpose to attract the right talent in the first place - and to get them to want to do great work together as a team.

The British Red Cross offered a superteams masterclass when it ramped up the response to the Haiti earthquake in 2010. The team ranged from disaster specialists on the ground to volunteers in charity shops in UK high streets.

"The British Red Cross ensured there was a clear line of sight between the many individual actions and the movement's overall goals," Tu writes. "The volunteers in the shops were totally committed: they could see their work selling second-hand clothes in terms of relieving suffering and saving lives." This is cited as an example of an inspiring super-team performance.

Emma De Vita is books editor of Management Today

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