Take action: How to form teams to innovate

Delegates at a TechCamp conference in Tel Aviv during a hands-on workshop to learn how to use technology to affect social change and promote equality. Photo by: U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv / CC BY-SA

Recruit 300 employees for a new 100-bed facility in 30 days. That’s the challenge the United Nations presented the International Rescue Committee earlier this year following the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

And at this month’s Career Development Roundtable in Oslo, Norway, Allan Freedman asked participants to gather in groups and brainstorm strategy to tackle the same challenge — encouraging each team to develop the maximum number of ideas without editing or censoring.

Quick response to a humanitarian crisis requires an innovative team that can immediately identify what competencies are required and put them into action, according to Freedman, who advises IRC on public-private partnerships and innovation. And if the United Nations comes back seeking a more nimble response to the outbreak — one that involves smaller and more numerous treatment units with fewer beds — teams have to be able to adapt just as quickly, he noted.

Here are six key tips for building innovative teams to solve global development challenges:

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About the author

  • Julia atiyeh profile

    Julia Atiyeh

    Julia Atiyeh is a Swedish-Syrian journalist. She has reported in English, Swedish and Arabic from Europe and Lebanon, and her love for traveling and global policy has allowed her to live in Scandinavia, New York and the Middle East.