A Great Team Work

Over the years working in many different jobs, I find the four Haas & Mortensen (2016) “enabling conditions” very relevant. For instance, as an administrative assistant, the role required my complete understanding of the organization’s goals, missions, and rationale for most managerial decisions that concerned customers. Fortunately, managers ensured a supportive context by inclusion in decision making, organizing educational fairs and benchmark to improve our skills and kept us updated. This avoided adverse implications of lack of support such as poor communication, mistrust, and poor execution of tasks.

Besides, managers ensured we had a shared mindset. They organized weekly and monthly meetings, where we discussed performance and targets. That way, each team member had the clarity of goals and objectives to achieve. The shared mindset created strong collaboration, or as Griffith & Dunham (2014) call it – a team culture. Without a shared mindset, members of a team will seldom collaborate or work towards the main goals and objectives of a team.

The best team structure revealed when working as a nurse assistant at NeoMed clinic. Managers preferred a democratically oriented team structure, where each employee would volunteer to undertake roles in which they are proficient. That freedom for both medical and allied professionals ensured predictability, efficiency, and satisfaction, as affirmed by Griffith & Dunham (2014). Had we worked without a strong structure, the team would have been at risk of broken communication and poor management of human resources, leading to burnouts or conflicts.


I experienced a compelling direction when working as a teacher’s aide. One student had a reading disorder. Nevertheless, together with allied teachers and health practitioners, we were determined to help the student improve their reading capabilities. We learned the best teaching practices and applied them to the letter. Within one year, Polly could read better, and she was happier than ever. Lack of a compelling direction leads to laxity and eventually failure of a team to meet its objectives.


Griffith, B., & Dunham, E. (2014). Working in teams. New York: SAGE Publications, Inc.

Haas, M., & Mortensen, M. (2016). The Secrets of Great Teamwork Harvard Business Review. 70-76. Retrieved from https://store.hbr.org/product/the-secrets-of-great-teamwork/R1606E


Colleague 1

I am excited by your experiences. Concerning compelling direction, I think your team leaders have an ingenious approach to teams’ roles and responsibilities. In the book Working in teams, Griffith & Dunham (2014) say that team leaders may headstart some team’s functions so that members learn or are eased when they get stuck. In the same way as your current team structure, leaders may delegate roles depending on members capabilities. That way, ad supporting members with encouragement and reminding one another of the team’s goals is an ideal experience in an enabled team. Thank you so much.

Colleague 2

Hello Joseph,

I am intrigued by your experiences; in that, you have seen all the four enabling conditions work in one lifespan of a team. That must be truly a highly effective team. Besides that, I agree with you, and I am happy that you have quoted Haas & Mortensen (2016) on the right mix and number of members which is optimized to its function and dynamics. I think that is one catalytic factor to achieving a compelling direction and a shared mindset. Members also have an easy time aligning to the structure or culture of the team and get the necessary support from the management or one another. Thank you so much.

Colleague 3

Hello Ruben,

I am happy that we have had some similar experiences. For a team to undertake challenging tasks such as you increasing sales percentage in a low-income city, or us improving reading capabilities of a child with a reading disorder, the compelling direction is essential. It enables a team to focus and not lose its objectives. Also, you have approached the team’s structure from an interesting perspective. A strong structure fosters a team’s ability to solve problems. In addition to collaboration, as I have indicated, a shared mindset creates oneness in a team.