As companies grow, it isn't easy to stay up on what everyone's doing. Opportunities for teamwork often get lost. Norman Howe, CEO of Norman Howe & Associates, a marketing and consulting business in Pasadena, Calif., has developed a system to combat these kinds of inefficiencies. It's built around a weekly "to do" list.

Every Monday morning, Howe's 26 employees make lists of their tasks or projects. The lists are then shared with supervisors and read at a staff lunch.

A big advantage to oper-ating this way, Howe says, is the team atmosphere it creates. "People have a more complete view of what's happening." Frequently, he notes, individuals suggest new ways to approach problems; if they have time, they even offer to help colleagues in a pinch. The staff lunches usually last about an hour, Howe says. "There's a real value in articulating what you're working on to a group."