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Maintaining effective teams

Read steps to take to recognise the uniqueness of your team.

With a blend of hard and soft skills, no two teams will be the same, and no team will be the same as yours. Everyone’s individual expertise and experience create a unique combination of skills that can’t easily be replicated.

When you first become a team, you should begin to explore and understand this through the conversations you have to get to know each other – and it’s not just creative skills that are important here, but life experience, beliefs and perspectives. This is where the real value of diversity of thought comes in.

By combining this unique combination of creative skills with your teams different individual lived experiences, you will have a special sauce that you want to harness as much as possible. This is where your team will stand out and produce work that no other team can.

Alongside this, there are some important practical factors to consider that will help to support this team diversity and encourage a great culture. It’s important to make sure you have these factors in place at the start of your project, and continue to review them during the project as you progress through your work.

Use the checklists below (also available in your collaboration kit at the end of this week) to make sure you have these things in place.

At the start of your project. Answer yes or no to the following statements:

  • Do you have a defined end goal, team objectives, measures of success and a clear direction?
  • Have you all discussed what you can each contribute in terms of time and resource within the collaboration?
  • Are you all clear on your individual roles and responsibilities within the project?
  • Do you have a project timeline with deadlines and milestones?
  • Have you created a list of tasks that are visible to everyone with clear allocation?
  • Have you discussed your team norms and values and have them displayed somewhere – either online or physically – that you can come back and refer to?

If you answered no to any of the above then these are things you should address at your next team meeting.

To ensure these important foundations are adhered to throughout a collaboration, regularly take time to complete this assessment to review how you are working together.

Rate yourselves on a scale of 1-10 to see where you can improve.

1. Adaptable to challenges.

We address problems and solve them together.

2. Open and frequent communication.

We raise any issues early so that they can be addressed.

3. Empathy.

We have an understanding and appreciation for each other’s different working methods and communication styles

4. Inclusive communication.

Everyone gets involved in discussions and can contribute equally

5. Accountability.

We are aware of our tasks and roles and stay on track.

6. Awareness of skills.

We know what everyone brings to the collaboration in terms of their expertise and roles

7. Decision-making process.

We can move forward quickly without getting stuck on detail.

8. Healthy debate.

We encourage productive conflict and constructive feedback to improve our ideas

9. Productive meetings.

All of our meetings are time well-spent and help us move forward in the project.

10. Celebrate progress.

We acknowledge our achievements and when we’ve reached our milestones.

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How to Improve Your Creative Collaboration

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FutureLearn - Learning For Life

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