Managers must engage with their team. On the bridge of the Enterprise many attributes necessary for the successful functioning of a team are present in the crew. Vandeever (2003) asserts that every company in the Fortune 500 has a type of team on its register. Team essentials: trust, unfiltered conflict around ideas and goals, accountability and achievement of collective results. Teamwork is blending the talents and strengths of individuals into a force greater than the sum of its parts. (Riley, 1995) Kirk achieves this with a team of different characters, Mr. Spock, logic and analytics; Lt. Uhura, communications and collaborator; Lt. Sulu, Strategic Manager and Mr. Scott, Technical expertise.

Gosling outlines management into mind-sets: reflective, analytical, worldly, collaborative and action. The team provide Kirk with back up in all these areas and he then manages the situation or the mission and makes decisions as to what course to follow.

Katzenbach and Smith differentiate between groups and teams. Essential to teams are specific team purpose, free discussion and collective work performance assessment.  Teams are, in their view, the most useful and effective tool available to managers to attain specific goals.

The collaboration exercise undertaken by the MLIS students demonstrated the importance of the different attributes of a successful team.  I was part of the ‘Red team and we struggled to organize a meeting initially.  I set up a shared file which all members could access to facilitate communication. A captain and a co-captain had to be appointed.  The team asked for volunteers and this was how they were appointed.  On the day of the challenge the group didn’t have enough bandanas so I agreed to move to the blue team.  This was interesting and possibly challenging for the other members of the group as I had not met anyone in the team before. The team members were all good listeners and a good sense of humour prevailed. They had set up ‘what’s app’ for communication, which worked well. Although there was no consensus initially about the resolution to the challenge,(move some rubber ducks across a lake) the team listened to each other and gradually came to the same conclusion, the instructions did not say the ducks had to go in the water.  In my opinion the point of the challenge was twofold, learn to function as a team and try an obvious although simple solution if the team agree it should work. We walked around the lake!

Librarians and information professionals increasingly work as part of collaborative teams with IT professionals. Lippincott (2000) They formulate policies, create information literacy programmes and develop information resources. Good team management skills and insight are essential to the career of an librarian or information professional manager.  My experience of managing teams has been on the job experience so I found this academic reading and the collaborative challenge an interesting learning curve.

‘Making groups work’ (Moon, 2009) was very useful with pertinent information for the next team project. Thanks to my red and blue teams!


Forgham-Healy, N. (2017). Making reflection an everyday practice. Cilip Update, vol         February 2017 pp26

Gosling,J and Mintzberg,H (2003). The five minds of a manager. Harvard Business Review, vol 81(11),pp54-pp63

R. Katzenbach, D. K. Smith(1993) The discipline of teams. Harvard Business Review, vol 71(March-April), pp111-pp146

Moon, J. (2009). Making groups work: Improving group work through the principles of academic assertiveness in higher education and professional development. Bristol, England: Higher Education Academy Education Subject Centre. Retrieved January 6, 2010, from

Vandeveer,R. (2003). Synergy and team cooperation: understanding the dynamics of teams, Purdue University

Weick,K. (2006). Faith, evidence, and action: Better guesses in an unknowable world. Organization Studies, 27, pp1723- pp1734