Selecting team members wisely has grown in importance as we have shifted into an era where teams are prevalent in the workplace, tackling complex challenges that require innovative responses.\r\n\r\nAt Ziba Design, where such projects are the norm, the company has discovered that successful teams require the delicate intermixing of four different roles. \u201cWe are dependent on the team and team dynamics,\u201d Chelsea Vandiver, executive managing director of creative at the Oregon-based consultancy, says in an interview.\r\n\r\nShe describes the four roles, for which you need to find people with the appropriate skills, as follows:\r\n\r\n1. Generator -\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nSource: Flickr\r\nThese people come up with great ideas. The problem is that they usually love to come up with more and more ideas, frustrating the colleague or customer who wants solutions. Ms. Vandiver notes that many companies lack idea generators and, when they hit a roadblock that requires an innovative solution, the best they can do is replicate the past.\r\n\r\n2. Editor -\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nSource: Pixabay\r\nThis person can help the team to focus, picking out the ideas that will work by sharing some effective decision-making approach. Often this person is the team leader, but not necessarily.\r\n\r\n3. Maker -\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nSource: Flickr\r\nThis individual focuses on idea implementation, not idea generation or idea selection. Makers concentrate on the market opportunities and the hurdles to implementation. They like to get things done.\r\n\r\n4. Collaborator -\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nSource: Pexels\r\nThese people get the team working together in an effective manner. Their role is more than project management; it involves understanding the people and the process, and finding synergies. \u201cCollaborators can be great team leaders, but they don\u2019t have to lead to be effective. What\u2019s more important is that they be genuinely fascinated by the capabilities and needs of the people around them, and find it nearly impossible to ignore opportunities for connection,\u201d Ms. Vandiver writes in Rotman Magazine .\r\n\r\nThese four roles may seem familiar, but you may not have thought deeply about them when setting up teams. Using them effectively, she explains, will depend on the size of the team and the project phase but, in general, she suggests following these overriding rules:\r\n\r\n1. Generators need editors -\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nSource: Pixabay\r\nIf you have great idea people, they are likely to be poor at idea selection. They also prefer to be with others who love to toss ideas around forever rather than pick one and move forward. Pair them with an editor.\r\n\r\n2. Generators and editors need makers -\r\nGenerators and editors have an Achilles heel, however: Their allegiance is to the idea, not its implementation. That\u2019s okay if the end goal is a presentation, as might be the case with some strategy projects. But if the purpose is to implement, as with product development, find a maker \u2013 the implementer.\r\n\r\n3.\u00a0 Large teams need collaborators -\r\nSmall teams may be fine with people filling only the first two or three roles. But as the team gets larger, and its dynamics become more essential to success, you must find a collaborator.\r\n\r\nMs. Vandiver calls the process of combining different talents for different purposes \u2018team alchemy.\u2019 \u201cWhat ultimately makes team alchemy such a useful concept is that it recognizes there are different ways to be competent,\u201d she writes in the magazine article. \u201cJust as every project requires a different mix of skills, every team size works best with a different mix of roles. There are plenty of combinations that work, and many more that don\u2019t.\u201d\r\n\r\nIn a two-member team, for example, you want one idea generator, not two. \u201cIf you have two generators, it will never work. You absolutely need a generator but need to partner them with an editor to screen the ideas, or a maker who forces the generator, through such efforts as prototyping, to choose what to do,\u201d she explained in the interview.\r\n\r\nFor three-member teams, you usually need a generator, an editor and a maker. Without a maker, the team can bog down; with all three roles filled, it can be very productive. As the team grows, and if the problem is complex, a collaborator is needed too. \u201cYou need someone watching the team itself and concentrating on flow or synergy,\u201d she said.\r\n\r\nIn the first stage of a project (defining the problem), an editor is needed to help understand what the task is. In the next stage (designing), generators are essential. She suggests taking editors out of the room initially so people can push forward ideas without restraints, before bringing back that editing role. In the final stage (developing), the maker takes the lead. If roadblocks are hit, generators may be needed for inspired workarounds.\r\n\r\nMs. Vandiver believes that people have innate strengths in one area, but can be trained for other roles \u2013 although when under stress, they may revert to type. Her design house attracts lots of generators but has trouble finding collaborators. That may not be true of other companies, she notes, but she is worried because the education system doesn\u2019t teach this skill set. And for many teams and projects, collaborators determine success.\r\n\r\nDo you have any tips for creating successful teams that you would like to share? Join the conversation\u2026.\r\n\r\nThe above\u00a0article has been contributed by Harvey Schachter - a writer, specializing in management and business issues. He writes three weekly columns for the Globe and Mail -- Monday Morning Manager, on Mondays, Managing Books on Wednesdays, and Balance on Fridays. The article was originally published at http:\/\/www.theglobeandmail.com\/report-on-business\/careers\/management\/a-formula-for-building-an-effective-team\/article14437297\/ and is published here with the author\u2019s permission.