24 Mar 2020


Teamwork doesn’t just happen — good teams require good leaders who have vision and practiced skills. Leading effective teams today requires laying the groundwork for how team members and the wider organization will be successful. We’ve collected a dozen of our most popular articles on leading teams from our archives.

This collection, all of which are free on our site Tuesday, March 24, through Thursday, March 26, offers a range of actionable advice for managers on how to foster trust and accountability, resolve conflicts, and bridge geographic distances on distributed teams. Readers will benefit from decades of research from academics and practitioners on the skills and effective approaches leaders need to manage diverse teams to enhance collaboration and achieve better performance.

1. The Smart Way to Respond to Negative Emotions at Work

Christine M. Pearson

Whether provoked by bad decisions, misfortune, poor timing, or employees’ personal problems, no organization is immune from bad feelings. Many executives try to ignore negative emotions in the workplace, but that tactic can be costly. When employees’ negative feelings are responded to wisely, they often provide important feedback.

2. It’s Time to Tackle Your Team’s Undiscussables

Ginka Toegel and Jean-Louis Barsoux

The more undiscussables there are on your team, the more difficult it is for the team to function effectively. Ignoring unresolved conflicts results in strained relationships and bad decisions. This article outlines how leaders can bring the four types of undiscussables to light, improving team learning, problem-solving, and performance.

3. Five Rules for Managing Large, Complex Projects

Andrew Davies, Mark Dodgson, David M. Gann, and Samuel C. MacAulay

Large-scale, long-term projects are notoriously difficult to manage. But research on megaprojects — defined as projects costing more than $1 billion — reveals five lessons that can help executives manage any big, complex project more effectively.

4. Five Ways to Improve Communication in Virtual Teams

N. Sharon Hill and Kathryn M. Bartol

When it comes to managing your virtual team’s success, it’s not the technology that matters — it’s how people use it. This article looks at five strategies for conquering distance and improving communication and performance in dispersed teams.

5. How to Create Belonging for Remote Workers

Liz Fosslien and Mollie West-Duffy

A common question among leaders about managing remote teams is how to ensure that employees feel connected to their work and to their colleagues. There are practical steps managers and colleagues can take to make their remote employees feel valuable and ingrained in company culture.

6. How to Manage Virtual Teams

Frank Siebdrat, Martin Hoegl, and Holger Ernst

Dispersed teams can actually outperform groups that are colocated. Based on an investigation of the performance of 80 software development projects with varying levels of dispersion — members in different cities, countries, or continents — this article asserts that virtual teams offer tremendous opportunities despite their greater managerial challenges. To succeed, however, virtual collaboration must be managed in specific ways.

7. Why Teams Still Need Leaders

Lindred (Lindy) Greer, interviewed by Frieda Klotz

While flat organizational structures have gained favor in recent years, hierarchies continue to provide many important benefits, says the University of Michigan’s Lindy Greer. Depending on the circumstances, the answer isn’t to eliminate hierarchy but to train leaders and teams to use it flexibly.

8. The Trouble With Homogeneous Teams

Evan Apfelbaum, interviewed by Martha E. Mangelsdorf

Diversity in the workplace can increase conflict. But research also suggests that if teams lack diversity, they will be more susceptible to making flawed decisions.

9. Improving the Rhythm of Your Collaboration

Ethan Bernstein, Jesse Shore, and David Lazer

With so many digital tools in the workplace, team collaboration has gone omnichannel. Given how hyperconnected people are, the authors set out to explore the implications for organizations and teams. Their research demonstrates how alternating between always-on connectivity and heads-down focus is essential for problem-solving.

10. The Unique Challenges of Cross-Boundary Collaboration

Amy Edmondson, interviewed by Frieda Klotz

Many of today’s team projects have built-in hurdles because of differing communication styles, cultures, and professional norms. Leading this kind of “extreme teaming” requires management skills that don’t always come naturally — such as humility.

11. In Praise of the Incurably Curious Leader

Douglas A. Ready

There is a growing recognition that curiosity is an essential leadership trait. Leaders who consider themselves perpetual students are thriving by asking questions, demanding them of their teams, and exploring the root cause of problems rather than focusing on temporary fixes.

12. How to Lead a Self-Managing Team

Vanessa Urch Druskat and Jane V. Wheeler

Teams that are basically left to run themselves can be highly efficient and productive. To be successful, though, such autonomous groups require a specific type of external leadership.


Read the full article here.
This content was originally published by MIT Sloan Management Review. Original publishers retain all rights. It appears here for a limited time before automated archiving. By MIT Sloan Management Review

Covid-19 – Johns Hopkins University

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