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Assess Your Team

It is often difficult to assess objectively the effectiveness of the teams in which we are involved. This section of the site provides multi–disciplinary teams with a structured tool to evaluate the condition of their collaboration. It provides teams with a clear understanding of their collaboration’s strengths and the areas that are in need of attention and improvement.

Working Together: A Profile of Collaboration was developed by two social scientists and researchers, David Chrislip and Dr. Carl Larson, and published in 1994 in their book, Collaborative Leadership: How Citizens and Civic Leaders Can Make a Difference [Collaborative Leadership: How Citizens and Civic Leaders Can Make a Difference, San Francisco, CA: Jossey–Bass Publishers (1994)]. Both Chrislip and Larson have conducted extensive research on collaboration, team building, teamwork, and leadership.

Chrislip and Larson’s collaboration survey is based on their observations and empirical research on many highly functioning, successful collaborative teams. Chrislip and Larson looked at more than 50 multi–disciplinary, collaborative teams from jurisdictions across the country including teams that were local, regional, and statewide in their scope or focus.

The common characteristic of all these teams was that they were focused on problems that were vexing and very complex, such as race relations, crime, drug abuse, unemployment, housing, education, and pollution. These are problems that cross the bounds of agency and discipline, as well as public and private sectors and, therefore, had not been addressed effectively by any individual entity. Each problem required a new, collaborative approach that included all of the entities that were impacted by and/or shared responsibility for addressing it.

The teams studied by Chrislip and Larson produced concrete, tangible, and very positive results. These teams were action–oriented. Each accomplished something significant.

What were the common factors across these teams that were associated with success? These factors fit into five broad “dimensions of collaboration,” which form the basis of the Collaboration Survey.

Complete the Collaboration Survey

Click on the link below to assess the effectiveness of your team by answering the questions in the collaboration survey. Answer the questions individually based on your own personal experience with your team. Do not complete the survey as a group exercise.

Click here for instructions on completing and processing the collaboration survey.

Click here to complete the collaboration survey.


Adapted from concepts in Collaborative Leadership: How Citizens and Civic Leaders Can Make a Difference (1994), by David Chrislip and Dr. Carl Larson (San Francisco, CA: Jossey–Bass Publishers).