In early 2020, the escalating COVID-19 pandemic forced organizational leaders to quickly reset business and workforce priorities. To rapidly reorient their goals and operations, we saw organizations turn to teams as the go-to unit for organizational performance.
Teaming became a life raft for talent and organizational strategies during COVID-19 because teams are built for adaptability rather than predictability and stability. Teams can learn and adapt faster than individual workers alone, since teams of motivated individuals challenge each other to come up with better, more creative ideas.
The next frontier in teaming is superteams: where people and technology are combined to leverage their complementary capabilities to pursue outcomes at a speed and scale not otherwise possible.
Superteams have yet to take hold as a widespread organizational strategy, in part because many organizations still tend to view technology as a tool and enabler rather than a team member and collaborator. Most respondents to our 2020 Global Human Capital Trends survey, for example, said they view artificial intelligence (AI) mainly as an automation tool—a substitute for manual labor—rather than a way to augment or collaborate with human capabilities. However, this view may be slowly starting to change.
Executives responding to the 2021 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends survey recognized that the use of technology and people is not an “either-or” choice but a “both-and” partnership. The top three factors executives identified as important for transforming work were organizational culture, workforce capability, and technological factors. Organizations must combine these factors to envision and assemble effective superteams.
AI can be especially important to a superteam’s ability to create new value. Research shows that organizations with above-average diversity produced a greater proportion of revenue from innovation (45% of the total) than those with below-average diversity (26%), which translated into a stronger overall financial performance . With AI bringing its own style of “thinking” to a team, the mix of human and machine intelligence can yield diversity bonuses that exceed those of teams composed of only humans, however diverse.
Superteams can allow organizations to re-architect work in more human ways, by leveraging technology to elevate teams’ ability to learn, create, and perform in new ways to achieve better outcomes. Doing this goes beyond considerations of user experience and human-centered design.
The 2021 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends survey showed that executives are shifting their focus away from work optimization and redesign toward work reimagination, with 61% saying they would focus on reimagining work going forward as opposed to 29% before the pandemic. Work optimization and redesign aim to achieve the same work outputs more efficiently, so they largely depend on using technology to substitute or augment human work. While work reimagination, on the other hand, uses technology to transform the nature of work in ways that achieve new outcomes and make new aspirations possible.
When given the right environment to thrive, superteams of humans and technology can unlock organizational potential and achieve greater results together than either humans or machines could achieve on their own.
If you would like more information on Superteams: Where work happens, please contact the Deloitte Banking and Human Capital Leader, Pascal Martino (email@example.com).
And if you would like to view the full 2021 Human Capital Trends report, please download it here: https://www2.deloitte.com/lu/en/pages/human-capital/articles/human-capital-trends.html
Look for our next article “Governing workforce strategies: Setting new directions for work and the workforce” to learn how COVID-19 was the rude awakening that governing workforce strategies through metrics and measurements severely limits an organization’s ability to survive disruption, let alone thrive in it.
Article by Deloitte Luxembourg
 Stuart R. Levine and Thought Leaders, “Diversity confirmed to boost innovation and financial results,” Forbes, 15 January 2020; Rocío Lorenzo et al., “How diverse leadership teams boost innovation,” BCG Henderson Institute, 23 January 2018.
Publié le 22 février 2021