Establishing and managing a team are two discrete tasks, requiring different approaches. That said, by taking the time to form the right team for your project, team management can be easier and more effective. Practice or policy change are not solo activities, so getting your team right is central to both your impact and ultimate success. In our webinar It Takes a Team: Building and Maintaining Support for Change, experts from Community Catalyst and Hebrew Senior Life share their experiences and offer tips on how to use your team to support  -- and maintain change. 

Five guiding principles

One suggestion is to keep in mind five principles that form the foundation of effective teams and the benefits of each. These include: clear purpose, defined roles and accountability, trust and excellent communication.

This guide, from strategy consultant Gina Abudi, reprises the five principles, but adds two more -- diversity and taking time to grow relationships among team members.

Managing a team

Accept and manage conflict for more creative collaboration: This Harvard Business Review article provides a deep dive into understanding how someone with a defensible opposing viewpoint or who plays devil’s advocate can promote a wider lens and bring to the surface new ideas that wouldn’t have come up otherwise. Having people of different backgrounds and points of view is beneficial, but these perspectives must also be actively managed to get the best out of this kind of constructive tension.

Understand intra-team interpersonal dynamics and attitude: This article, “The High Performance Project Team – How to Create, Sustain and Disband One,” from CorporateGeek, explains how these dynamics can be as important as skills and knowledge. 

Additional Resources

The Science of Improvement: Forming a Team is a helpful online guide from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI).

How Can You Be an Effective Team Leader?  This video lecture from Bob Pozen at MIT is part of IHI's Open School.

Ten Scientifically Proven Ways to Build and Manage Great Teams. Inc. magazine developed this review of 10 studies and offers practical insights on how to implement the lessons from each. 

Five Ways to Build an Effective Team is a helpful resource provided by Intuit.