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TEAMWORK: How to build a successful team

Seminal work in the field of team effectiveness was done in the 1970s by organizational behavior expert J. Richard Hackman – and the authors of this article have validated and expanded this pioneering research.  They discuss conditions that contribute to the success of what they call “4-D teams” – those that are diverse, dispersed, digital, and dynamic – which today increasingly include people based in different locations, including different countries.  The factors that were identified decades ago as enablers include:

  • Compelling direction – a goal that is challenging enough to be inspiring, but not so challenging as to be dispiriting
  • Strong structure – a minimum number of people who together have the requisite skills
  • Supportive context – having the needed resources available

The new knowledge is that a fourth enabler is needed:

  • Shared mindset – common identity and understanding

The authors include a short assessment, “Does Your Team Measure Up,” that can be used periodically to take the temperature of the team.

Source: Haas, M., and Mortensen, M. (2016, June). The secrets of great teamwork: Collaboration has become more complex, but success still depends on the fundamentals. Harvard Business Review, 94(6), 71-76.  Click here: https://hbr.org/2016/06/the-secrets-of-great-teamwork  Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

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