Skip to main content
X-Teams, Revised and Updated: How to Build Teams That Lead, Innovate, and Succeed

X-Teams, Revised and Updated: How to Build Teams That Lead, Innovate, and Succeed

Current price: $32.00
Publication Date: August 8th, 2023
Harvard Business Review Press
The MIT Press Bookstore
1 on hand, as of Apr 22 10:29am
On Our Shelves Now


An essential work on teams-now updated with new research and tools and a new preface--X-Teams shows how an externally focused team model is the key to fueling innovation and your organization's success.

You build a team around top-notch talent. The team members work well together; they're committed to the mission and are highly motivated to perform. Yet the results are disappointing. You're not seeing creativity and flexibility. You're not getting breakthrough ideas.

"Good" teams build camaraderie, confidence in their abilities, and a solid process for working together. But these internal dynamics--while positive in themselves--can create a wall between the team and the outside world. And that wall can prevent the team from adapting to change and delivering value to the organization.

In this updated, streamlined edition, with a new preface and practical tools, Deborah Ancona and Henrik Bresman describe an externally focused team model--the x-team--that is even more relevant today than when it was first introduced. With their distinctively flexible membership and leadership structure, x-teams continuously reach outward to fuel the innovation process.

With new examples and research from organizations such as Microsoft, Takeda, and the Museum of Modern Art, Ancona and Bresman show you how to build x-teams that:

  • Keep pace with shifts in markets, technologies, cultures, and your competition
  • Innovate by moving quickly from generating ideas to executing and diffusing them throughout your organization
  • Employ "distributed leadership" to unlock crucial information, expertise, and new ways of working together--wherever these qualities reside, whether within or outside your company

In an increasingly complex and ever-changing world, where adaptability and creativity are paramount to an enterprise's success--and even its survival--X-Teams is your handbook for winning.

About the Author

Deborah Ancona is the Seley Distinguished Professor of Management at MIT's Sloan School of Management and the founder and former faculty director of the MIT Leadership Center. She received her PhD from Columbia University.Henrik Bresman is a professor at INSEAD and the former faculty director of the INSEAD Global Leadership Centre. He received his PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.Connect with Henrik Bresman on Twitter: @HenrikBresman and LinkedIn: