The 9 Elements of an Effective Team (Part 1)

What are the building elements and structure of effective teams?

Teams have varying demands bestowed upon them in terms of efficiently doing the pre-allocated work but also maximising contribution to the organisation and keeping up to speed with varying business needs. Different business environments have different team structures that work for them e.g. self-organising, rigidly structured, matrix, adhoc. There are though some elements that every team should possess in order to be effective. Let’s see what these may be.



The elements that are crucial for the well being but also the smooth operation and success of a team can be summarized as follows:

1) Clear Goals

2) Good Team Structure

3) Right Culture and Skillset selection

4) Trust

5) Good Communication

6) Positive relationships

7) Accountability

8) Leadership

9) Feedback

1) Clear goals – Why does the team exist?

As I have alluded to (here), one of the key ingredients for success is the alignment of targets and culture between the Organisation, the business unit and each individual team.

Imagine the Organisation as a rowing boat with each individual rower (representing business units or teams) being misaligned with the organisational targets and rowing out of sync. The boat will make very little progress if at all even if it manages to make some headway.

Now, imagine the same boat with each team, business unit in full alignment with the organisational goals and rhythm. That is how champion teams operate (this analogy comes from Ram Charan‘s book “What the CEO Wants You to Know”).

2) Good Team structure

As I mentioned above the teams in today’s world come in many shapes and forms e.g. project teams are common nowadays.

Hence, ensuring that the right departments are involved in the formation of the project team and formulating a team structure that compliments the expected outcomes is of the essence.

e.g.  when putting together a team with a creative target then having a design that is autocratic, rigidly hierarchical does not promote open communication of ideas between all members and will most likely not produce or heavily delays a good result.

3) The Right Culture and Skillset Selection – Identification and selection of the right culture of people and skillets that compliment each other and can work to the maximum benefit of the company.

This is an expansion to element number 2 noted above e.g. knowing that IT, Finance, Sales and Procurement need to be involved is one thing. Selecting the right people from within these departments is another. Usually, Projects teams need to have within them a wide selection of influencers in order to be effective.

e.g. discussing Project teams, it is important that members of the team include i) someone that can get buy in from Top Management (usually an executive leader), ii) someone with experience in the project field who can ensure that pitfalls are avoided and the  scope and available options can be fully explored and articulated and finally, iii) someone who has the relationship power to engage and get buy in from outside teams and departments.

4) Building a culture of Trust.

● Trust is a sine qua non for any effective relationship. Without it communication falls short of any meaningful exchange of ideas as time usually is taken up on resolving conflict and misunderstandings.

A couple of simple tips to build trust is:

● Do what you say you will.

● Be honest and embrace open communication.

At next week’s post (Part 2), I will discuss the remainder of the elements 5 to 9.



[Image credit:]


About Geovrakas
George Vrakas (MBA, CCMP, CMILT) is highly reputed in the field of services procurement and logistics and has presented on topics such as, Globalisation, Services Procurement, Leadership, Continuous Improvement and Personal Productivity at various venues and Universities in Melbourne. He has also been the host at industry events and published articles on Procurement and Contract Management at various online publications. George was a Board member of the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport Australia (CILT Australia) from 2011 until 2016 and also a member of the International Association for Contract & Commercial Management (IACCM). George holds an MBA from Victoria University specializing in International Supply Chain Management and Applied Economics, he is also a certified Commercial Contract Management Practitioner (CCMP), a Green Belt Lean Six Sigma expert and holds a Lloyd's Maritime Academy certificate in KPIs for Ports and Terminals. He also holds certification on variety of topics primarily relating to Contract Management, Negotiations, International Regulations, Problem Solving and Change Management.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: