Creating an effective team to do the work that matters

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Guy Kawasaki’s “The Art of the Start” inspired me to make the world a better place, improve the quality of my life, right a terrible wrong and prevent the end of something good.

The world in which we live in makes it quite tricky to enable and collaborate with people from all walks of life to improve their quality of life through a shared vision.

Looking at the state of our nations, families, and workplaces, it’s obvious we require collaboration to enhance team work on all fronts. The best way to tackle a problem or solve a problem is through team effort.

Teamwork has also changed in the last decade. Organisations now grow when teams work in sync and not in seclusion. In every industry, there are goals and we need to aspire to overcome all the challenges we face through team effort and integration.

That goes beyond saying simply that one is a team player. We need to develop insights into how we can shape a dream-team – one that encourages its members to stand out, go from good to great and do the work that matters.

Each member of the team needs a clear perspective and be determined to add value which can be translated into crystal-clear output. A team can quickly disintegrate if the above is not clear.

Every team member or job seeker will say “YES” when asked the question “Are you a team player?”. You only discover later, that many people are derailers and not enablers. Every team needs people on board who support the team using Real Skills, either innate or developed over time.

Diversity in the workplace is vital, and every team needs this in its mix of ingredients. The team also needs an innovative and transformational leader, who can reinforce continually the purpose of the team as it relates to the organisation and its clients, which in turn encourages the team to build an excellent reputation, leading to increased ROI.

A capable team, under a transformational leader, enjoys opportunities to learn and grow. The team has a strong sense of development and positivity, as well as an optimistic approach to interactions. For a team to be capable, the members need to be intentionally open, empathic and ready to learn from each other.

Organisations whose team members are committed to the success of the organisation will build trust and support each other — leading to strong inter-team relationships and an enthusiastic approach to solving problems for their wider industry.

An organisation that creates an enabling environment for effective communication, collaboration and a platform where ideas and the workload are shared gives each team member an opportunity to function to their full potential. Every team needs to create a sustainable environment that can encourage renewal and self-discovery.

The dynamics of teamwork is changing. Teams need to adapt quickly to changes. They need to be flexible, not only in terms of tweaking processes, but also in terms of reflecting on experiences and using tools consciously that foster learning and adaptation.

Here are six ways to create an effective team to do the work that matters:

  • Reviews – Hold frequent assessments and reviews to ensure that goals are achieved.
  • Attentiveness – Be attentive to external changes which could reduce the team’s effectiveness and productivity.
  • Performance review – Discuss the team function to reinforce the values of the organisation and improve performance.
  • Flexibility – Encourage the team to be flexible in decision making, process and overall knowledge acquisition.
  • Value – Our diversity makes us create better work. It is imperative that we value different scopes of knowledge, perspective, skills and the in-depth experience and contribution of each member of the team.
  • Tolerance – This is “Real Skill” needed by each member of the team. Without it we stymy the organisation’s progress. Capacity needs to be developed so that we can accept the difference in each other without jeopardising the value system of the organisation.


As the dynamics of the team change with having different work patterns such as flexitime, part-time and home working, it is crucial to reflect intentionally and intelligently to adapt to the changing situation and be productive.

If your team can adequately reflect on your process, objectives, strategies and performance and make changes when needed, you will move into an era of increased productivity, innovation and effectiveness.

We are all humans, and everyone needs to be respected, valued and supported by individuals within the team to allow open-mindedness, idea sharing and efficiency. Open-mindedness can only happen when individuals feel positive emotions such as hope, joy, pride and happiness, which bring strength and the ability to think of possibilities.

With increased positivity, team members can trigger their coping mechanism when they are at a crossroads. Leading to organisational citizenship, the individual voluntarily commits to work, helps others and puts in extra work, often making a significant difference.

Positive emotions are pivotal to doing the work that matters and in creating effective teams.

For your organisation to stand out, team members must believe in their goals and objective. They must review objectives and map out ways of achieving them. The team must also support members, resolve conflicts intelligently and pay attention to the overall social and emotional state of the team.

There is no hope for creating a productive organisation without an intentional and thoughtful insight into the functions of the team, their emotional situation, diversity and performance.

A small team that is thoughtful and committed can change the way we work and get things done.

Babajide Olowookere is a designer with Big Ambitions, a leading content marketing company in South Africa.