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20 January 2023

How to drive success within your team in 2023? The Secrets of Great Teamwork as revealed by Mark Mortensen

Ihssane Charki |
Eliott & Markus

Diverse, dispersed, digital, and dynamic. These are the characteristics that most reflect teams nowadays. Albeit compelling at first glance, these same traits make teamwork increasingly more challenging.

Whether you are building a team from scratch or have recently inherited one, Mark Mortensen, a professor at INSEAD, suggests that effective teamwork largely hinges on providing the conditions for healthy and fruitful collaboration.

The Basics of Team Effectiveness

When asked what makes teams effective, most people think of output, but the concept of effectiveness entails far more than that.

To be truly effective, teams need to excel in three areas: output, collaborative ability, and personal development.

Output: Does my team achieve the set goals?
Collaborative ability: Do people work together effectively? Do they enjoy doing so?
Personal development: Do my team members develop and/or expand their individual skill set while working on company projects?

Setting Up Your Team for Success in 2023

Long before Mortensen, J. Richard Hackman identified three enabling conditions that teams need to thrive: a compelling direction, a strong structure, and a supportive context. Mortensen along with professor Martine Haas have since expanded on Hackman's research to include a fourth enabling condition: a shared mindset.

  • A Compelling Direction: A clear and challenging goal that inspires and motivates
    team members. One that is important to the team, and that they are willing to work
    hard to achieve.
  • A Strong Structure: clear roles and responsibilities, as well as well-defined
    processes and procedures. This helps to ensure that everyone knows what is
    expected of them and that there is a system in place to manage and track progress.
  • A Supportive Context: An environment that encourages open communication and
    trust, as well as providing resources and support to help the team succeed. This can include things like regular team meetings, team-building activities, and opportunities for personal and professional development.
  • A Shared Mindset: A shared understanding and belief in the team's purpose and goals. This includes things like shared values, a common vision, and a sense of belonging to the team.

Fostering Healthy and Fruitful Collaboration

To drive success within your team in 2023, it's important to focus on these four enabling conditions. By providing a clear and compelling direction, a strong structure, a supportive context, and a shared mindset, you'll set your team up for success and help them to thrive in the coming year.

In addition to these conditions, Mortensen suggests that effective teamwork also hinges on fostering an environment of open communication, encouraging diverse perspectives and ideas, and providing opportunities for team members to connect and build relationships.

Ultimately, the key to successful teamwork is to create an environment where everyone feels valued, heard, and supported. Doing so will set your team up for success in 2023 and beyond.

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