logo image

TD Magazine Article

Getting the Best Out of Your Team

Create the conditions for optimal success.


Wed May 01 2024


In "Promote Better Team Effectiveness," Treca Stark Bourne and Krister Lowe outline the structural drivers that make for effective teams. According to research by Harvard University Professor J. Richard Hackman and his colleagues, team effectiveness is grounded in six conditions, consisting of three essentials and three enablers.

To foster the conditions for more effective teamwork, the essentials are a real team, a compelling purpose, and the right people. The three enablers are sound structure, supportive context, and team coaching.


A compelling purpose is clear, challenging, and consequential. A highly effective team is one in which everyone understands the impact of their work, the work stretches team members but is not overly challenging, and individuals know what success looks like.

A talent development leader or coach can help a team leader create (with the team's input) a compelling purpose consisting of this structure:

  • "This team exists to …" (The leader completes this sentence, making it short and to the point.)

  • "By …" (Develop three to five bullets that explain how the team will carry out why it exists.)

  • "So that …" (This statement explains why the team matters—that is, its effect on customers or the organization.)

Having the right people on the team, including diversity of perspective and skills, is fundamental to carrying out the compelling purpose.

These tips were adapted from the May 2024 issue of TD at Work. Learn more at td.org/TDatWork.

You've Reached ATD Member-only Content

Become an ATD member to continue

Already a member?Sign In



May 2024 - TD Magazine

View Articles

Copyright © 2024 ATD

ASTD changed its name to ATD to meet the growing needs of a dynamic, global profession.

Terms of UsePrivacy NoticeCookie Policy