Archives for November 29th, 2000

CREATING EFFECTIVE TEAMS

Book News, PublicNet: 29 November, 2000

Wheelan S ADescribes how work groups become teams. Includes no jargon, no references – only the author’s research-based experience. Explores how teams in organizations need to be supported through creating expectations of success, setting clear expectations, valuing quality and service, attention to detail and valuing team recommendation and rewarding team performance. Presents four stages of team development: dependence and inclusion, counterdependence and fight, trust and structure and work and productivity. Challenges team members not to blame others for team problems, encourage the process of goal, role and task clarification, encourage the adoption of an open communication structure where all members’ input and feedback are heard, promote an appropriate ratio of task and supportive communication, promote effective problem-solving and decision-making procedures, establish norms which support productivity, innovation and freedom of expression, promote the use of effective conflict management strategies, go along with norms which promote group effectiveness and productivity, network with other groups, and support the leader’s efforts to facilitate group goal achievement. Challenges the domination of the myth of the charismatic team leader and focuses on some of the core activities of leading teams through the different stages of team development. Shows how the stages of team development can be managed. Constitutes a book that both managers and team members will use.

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CITY WIDE NETWORK GIVES ACCESS TO LEARNING

Headlines, PublicNet: 29 November, 2000

Leeds City Council has launched a learning network to connect schools, libraries, museums and learning centres to a range of educational resources. It is planned to connect over 400 locations to the network by 2002. This includes some 300 schools and more than 100,000 students. Longer term plans include extending the network to hospitals and nursing homes. The technology has been provided by BT Syncordia Solutions, the e-business and communications unit of BT.The network allows students to explore specific Intranet sites hosting content created by skilled educationalists with contributions from local libraries and museums, as well as to gain filtered access to the Internet. Students will have their own e-mail addresses and be able to e-mail homework to their teachers and take part in collaborative online projects with other schools. Later, videoconferencing services will be installed so that students can share in special interest subjects and vocational courses that might not be available at their school.

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KEY ROLE FOR PUBLIC SECTOR IN BLUEPRINT FOR RURAL PROSPERITY

Headlines, PublicNet: 29 November, 2000

The success of the five point action plan to revitalise England’s rural areas will depend to a large extent on how well public services meet expectations. The Plan, set out in a White Paper ‘A Fair Deal for Rural England’ was unveiled by Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott.The White Paper, which has taken two years to prepare, contains new initiatives and also pulls together measures and spending plans already announced. New elements include proposals for improving access to health in rural areas. There will be one hundred projects piloting video and telelinks between patients in primary health centres with specialists at remote locations. The new health centres will include mobile units. The National Health Plan, announced in July 2000, already provides for additional resources to support more local intermediate care, including cottage hospitals, quicker ambulance response times and dentistry.

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