It’s Tough to Build a Team

In “Building Effective Teams Isn’t Rocket Science, But It’s Just as Hard,” former Campbell Soup CEO and president Douglas Conant reminds us that putting teams together might be easy, but putting effective teams together is hard. His four key suggestions are:

– Hire Highly Effective Team Members (so when you hire employees, look for teamwork as a talent, even if you don’t need it right away)

– Focus on Inspiring Trust (create a high-trust environment; in some cultures, this can take more effort than in others)

– Encourage Candor (people who trust each other should be able to be open with each other…and need to be)

– Be Clear About Expectations (make sure the team knows what you expect from them; it helps to have them work together on translating your goals into actions)

These requirements bring us back to a point we have made before: building effective teams takes time and energy, so you need to decide if having a team approach is worth the cost. If you think it is, then don’t shortchange it; put the effort into doing it right the first time. The only thing worse than not having a team when you need one is having a poorly functioning team.