Lessons from Google: How to build an effective team?


Inspired by Aristotle’s saying “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”, Google has recently come to the end of a five-year project called Project Aristotle, to research what makes teams effective at Google. The broad conclusion was that the interaction of team members, how they structure their work and how they feel about their contributions were the most important elements determining team effectiveness.

These conclusions center on five team dynamics. Find out more about these dynamics and what we can learn from them:

Psychological Safety

The idea is that staff members must feel secure enough in their team in order to put forward ideas, ask questions and generally contribute. If they do, their team is much more likely to be innovative and successful.


Each and every team member must be dependable in order to achieve maximum effectiveness. This means that team members can be relied on to complete their work on time and to a high standard, taking their commitments to work seriously.

Structure and Clarity

Google’s research found that teams were much more effective when they understood how their contribution to a team and broader company goals made a difference.


Google found that having a sense of meaning and purpose was crucial for the highest levels of team working. Genuine enthusiasm for a company, job satisfaction and feeling part of something bigger all contribute to this.


The most effective teams at Google feel the work they do makes a tangible difference. Being able to see the real-world impact their work has is inspiring for each and every individual who make up a team. Realizing work has actual importance makes a big difference to team effectiveness.

By investing time and energy in nurturing these five team characteristics, the effectiveness and innovation of teams can genuinely soar.

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