Tiger Teamwork. Adapting a concept originally employed by the U.S. military, Pringle's Tiger Teams typically comprise of a small number of employees representing various disciplines at the company. Like a tiger going after prey, the teams sharply focus on very specific targets —issues that arise in the course of growing the business.
During the last 18 months, Pringle has used more than 20 such teams to attack issues ranging from strategic planning, to more tactical areas as diverse as compensation and pay grades, application for NHQ awards and inventory management of marketing materials.
By all accounts, the Tiger Teams are working. In the area of designing its strategic plan for 2005—a document critical to guide the company's future growth—company president Alan Parrow directed a Tiger Team that met bi-weekly for several months. Each member accepted assignments, researched facts and proposed solutions which were then debated and modified by top management. The company identified not only strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities, but also core competencies which could be leveraged to gain market share.
Teaming for NHQ recognition. Pringle likewise formed a Tiger Team to prepare an application for the 2006 NHQ award. Consisting of five senior executives, each member accepted a section to author which was subsequently presented to the whole team, debated and then finalized on content before presentation to Parrow for final approval.
Overall, Pringle has found the focused Tiger Teams bring more accountability while promoting action and problem solving among the team and company. Most recently, a team was formed to take the company toward formal NHQ certification. That team, responsible for developing a coherent Quality Manual, conducted gap analyses and recommended areas for continuous improvement and has now finished its work.