ad hoc teams

Who’s in Charge Around Here? The Challenges of Ad Hoc Teams

Ad Hoc Teams

Have you ever been on an ad hoc project team where is was unclear who had the power? How you approach ad hoc leadership can be tricky. In this case study, we’ll reveal your best approach so you can maximize your success on ad hoc teams.

The Situation

Managing power relations is a critical part of your leadership behavior. Whether working with a boss, direct report, or colleague, all of us adjust our behavior to some degree, depending on who we’re working with. As a Q4 collaborative leader, your awareness of interpersonal dynamics can give you insights for working with others more effectively.

Leadership Ambiguity

But what about situations where the power relationship isn’t so evident? For instance, you could be working on a temporary cross-functional team that draws together employees from many different parts of the company.

There is also informal power. Upper management may bring in someone outside of the firm to work with employees. That person is not on the organization chart, but he/she definitely wields power. What about when a senior executive’s relative works for you? Or is your boss?

How Do You Deal With Ambiguity?

The point is: These situations are not clear. So, what is the best strategy if you are in a situation where you don’t know who has the power in a work relationship?

Let’s say you are working on ad hoc teams with people from other departments. In terms of job titles, there is no formal power relationship between the two of you. With regard to the power dynamic, how should you begin this working relationship?

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