Blog post

Clusters being debated on HBR today

By Dave Aron | February 01, 2013 | 3 Comments

Last year, as part of the Gartner Maverick program, I wrote about a radical new model for talent – clusters. Today, the idea is being discussed on the Harvard Business Review Blog Network.




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  • Mike Gotta says:

    Dave, interesting concept. I wonder, when does a cluster become a team in a traditional sense? Or is that a risk? Do cluster’s fail if they form teaming relations by working together as a unit over time?

  • Dave Aron says:

    Mike – great question. The proposition is that a cluster is always a team in a traditional sense, in terms of interaction amongst members. The difference is that the company lets the cluster manage itself, choose its own members, its own tools, allocate work and share rewards amongst members.

  • Mike Gotta says:

    It’s an interesting thread to pull on. Teams are situated in networks so clusters are not isolated social structures within the organization itself, although incentives could influence the cluster to act in its own best interest (more as a clan (us vs them)). I wonder what the derivative impacts are on other employees in terms of disengagement if they lack the same agency because they operate in a different social structure than the cluster. I could envision a situation where high-performing clusters deliver value but secondary impacts on other teams can lead to more disenfranchised workers or tensions between clusters trying to maximize their own rewards. Fascinating proposition…