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External Support and Recognition

Another critically important characteristic of effective teams is external support and recognition. In order to sustain themselves and achieve their missions, it is essential that teams gain and maintain support from agencies and individuals not involved in their work, but who can impact their success.

In many instances, external support and recognition seem to be an effect of team success rather than a cause of it. That is, support and recognition from external entities often come after a team has begun to move forward and has achieved something significant. In other words, teams are often recognized and supported more fully after they accomplish something.

This characteristic is noted by teams more often because of its absence than its presence, and more often by teams that are not doing well than by those that are. As such, external support and recognition are often not major barriers to the work of a team, but rather benefits that can enhance performance and effectiveness, and sustain the collaborative endeavor over time.

As teams embark on their collaborative work, they should develop approaches to ensure external support for and recognition of their efforts over time. The strategies that teams employ to do this vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, based on teams’ unique needs, and the specific agencies and individuals from whom they need external support and recognition.

The following examples illustrate how two collaborative criminal justice teams have worked proactively to guarantee support and recognition from outside entities.

Click here for a teamwork exercise.