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January 07, 2020

Great Teamwork Takes Work

SPUR Marketing is an agency that LOVES working togetherwhether we’re in the office collaborating on creative concepts, or with our clients planning a launch strategy. Because of the high value we place on the collaborative process, we spend a lot of time trying to figure out best practices to help our team improve communication, inspire one another and elevate the work, above all.


If you share a similar passion for improving group performance, or if your team is struggling to cohere as a unit, this article from HBR is a great source to identify the core principles that drive a team’s success.



The takeaway: A few factors have an outsized impact on a team’s success. The key is understanding what those factors are and focusing on getting them right.


To attain high performance, make sure your team have these 4 things:


Compelling direction.


Inspiring people to do their best work requires that every member of the team knows what they’re working toward and has explicit goals. Make sure the goal strikes the right balance- challenging enough to be motivating, but not so challenging as to feel impossible.

Strong structure.

According to the article, “Teams also need the right mix and number of members, optimally designed tasks and processes, and norms that discourage destructive behavior and promote positive dynamics.”

Look to build a diversity of background and knowledge to stimulate creativity. Also, choose members who bring a balance of strong technical and social skills to drive the overall team dynamic.



Supportive context.

Recognizing that teams function in the context of a larger ecosystem, Harvard Business Review identifies several areas of support- all of which become increasingly important for virtual teams working in different geographies:

  • Maintaining a reward system that reinforces good performance
  • An information system that provides access to the data needed for the work
  • An educational system that offers training
  • Securing the material resources required to do the job, such as funding and technological assistance.

Shared mindset.

By fostering a common identity and understanding, team leaders can help overcome the common team challenges of distance and diversity, as well as digital communication and changing membership.


Per the authors, “After all, shared knowledge is the cornerstone of effective collaboration; it gives a group a frame of reference, allows the group to interpret situations and decisions correctly, helps people understand one another better, and greatly increases efficiency.”


To read the complete article, and learn how you can evaluate your team against these 4 principles, check out the full article at here.

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