Form a talented team!

carrying log team“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”  – Helen Keller

Forming a talented team to move change plans into action is critical in driving transformation through an organization. But what should leaders consider when forming talented teams?

According to Michael Marquardt, author of Optimizing the Power of Action Learning, leaders should consider the following criteria and issues when selecting members for a team:

1) Commitment: members must have a commitment to and stake in getting the problem solved or the task completed. The change effort should be one that individuals care about and that needs to be implemented for the well-being of the organization.

2) Knowledge: one or more members should have some knowledge and understanding of the problem. Although expertise may be sought from outside the group, it is advisable for the group to have some knowledge within the team.

3) Power to Implement: ideally persons within the team will have the  power to implement the change. Alternatively, the organization or leader with the power to implement action has assured the group that the strategies proposed by the group will be carried out.

4) Familiarity: one or more members should be familiar with the context in which the change effort resides. Those with familiarity can provide background and depth to the other members. (One caution: individuals who are familiar with the issues may have a more difficult time seeing “outside the box.”)

5) Diversity: team members may be chosen from all different hierarchical levels of the organization, as well as diversity of race, gender, education, etc. Different perspectives enriches the team’s process and decision making.

When you think back to the most talent teams you have formed or have been a part of, what criteria was used for selecting members?

Anita Rios



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