Teams by Design

Creating High Performing Nonprofit Teams

Team design blends scientific theory, empirical evidence, and psychometric tools to form high impact teams.

We need to surpass the assumption that a team is just an unthoughtful, unstructred meeting of people where everyone talks at each other and hopefully contributes their creativity.


Social entrepreneurs and changemaking thought leaders have pumped out essays championing the need for teams. For example, Bill Drayton in the Stanford Social Innovation Review 2013 issue about the need for a Team for Teams.

However, for decades, much had already transpired in the realm of organizational creativity and consulting: It's not the fact that the age of teamwork and collaboration has finally arrived; that was already a known and foregone conclusion.

But it's the fact that mainstream thought leaders are just now realizing this.

Don't miss the boat on creating, constructing, and facilitating teams as a starting point for building that type of capacity.

Today's innovation consultancies are aware that teams design,facilitation leadership, and thinking styles are critical elements to the nonprofit organizational design constellation. Many team profiling tools like the Basadur Profile are based on empirical research that people are more comfortable and energetic towards specific parts of the creative process.

Ad-hoc creative teamwork crashes and burns for many reasons. It's easy to say because an organization's culture doesn't support it. That may be true, but we need to do a little better than resort to blanket statements.

Here are some reasons backed by science and via practice:
  • Homogenous teams (either in expertise or thinking styles)
  • Unclear communication
  • Assuming "we all know what we mean"
  • Unawareness of creativity/innovation styles (thus no empathy for different thinking styles)
  • Rushing into action
  • Mixing up facts, problems, and solutions
  • Arguing over turf
  • Leaders protecting their own viewpoints
  • No process critique

Teams by Design

People are more energetic and comfortable with specific parts of the creative process. Creativity and innovation profiles help surface these cognitive prefernces and can help team members:

  • Understand their own creativity
  • Empathize with one another's preferences
  • Help one another with their strengths and weaknesses

Consider some reasons why basic team creativity falters:

  • Unclear communication
  • Assuming "we all know what we mean"
  • Unawareness in creativity/innovation styles (thus no empathy for different thinking styles)
  • Rushing into action
  • Mixing up facts, problems, and solutions
  • Arguing over turf
  • Leaders protecting their own viewpoints
  • No process critique
  • Fear in every form

Fast Action Tips

Things you can do right now

Comments

More
coming
soon.

If you found this helpful,
please share it!