Virtuoso Teams

As NancyLP commented to an earlier post, Harvard Business Review has a July 2005 article by Bill Fischer and Andy Boynton:

Virtuoso Teams: "Managing a traditional team seems pretty straightforward: Gather up whoever's available, give them time and space to do their jobs, and make sure they all play nicely together. But these teams produce results that are often as unremarkable as the teams themselves. When big change and high performance are required, a virtuoso team is far more likely to deliver outstanding and innovative results. Virtuoso teams are fundamentally different from the garden-variety work groups that most organizations form to pursue more modest goals. They comprise the top experts in their particular fields, are specially convened for ambitious projects, work with frenetic rhythm, and emanate a discernible energy. Not surprisingly, however, the superstars who make up these teams are renowned for being elitist, temperamental, egocentric, and difficult to work with. As a result, many managers fear that if they force such people to interact on a high-stakes project, the group just might implode. In this article, Bill Fischer and Andy Boynton put the inner workings of highly successful virtuoso teams on full display through three examples: the creative group behind West Side Story, the team of writers for Sid Caesar's 1950s-era television hit Your Show of Shows, and the high-powered technologists who averted an investor relations crisis for Norsk Hydro, the Norwegian energy giant. Each of these teams accomplished enormous goals and changed their businesses, their customers, even their industries. And they did so by breaking all the conventional rules of collaboration--from the way they recruited the best members to the way they enforced their unusual processes and from the high expectations they held to the exceptional results they produced."

I find the teams that they selected to be interesting, especially given the timeframes! Is this possible in our fast-moving, information-centric world? What are the best ways of handling this?