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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Leading Teams: Building Effective Team Cultures

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign via Coursera


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In this foundational course, you will immerse yourself in the idea of building effective team cultures. You will explore different facets of team culture that are at the root of effective teams. You'll learn more about cultures of safety, engagement, and growth, so that you can lead your teams toward cultures that facilitate the most effective teamwork. This course is part of Gies College of Business’ suite of online programs, including the iMBA and iMSM. Learn more about admission into these programs and explore how your Coursera work can be leveraged if accepted into a degree program at


    • You will become familiar with the course, your classmates, and our learning environment. The orientation will also help you obtain the technical skills required for the course.
    • Building effective teams starts with understanding the often elusive and challenging concept of culture. In this module, you will learn about the concept of culture and why it is important for effective teamwork. You will also explore a model of principles of effective teamwork that will guide your learning through the remainder of the course. Finally, you will hear perspectives from our panel of leadership experts about how they lead teams to develop effective cultures.
    • Developing cultures in which individual team members feel safe—meaning that they can bring difficult issues to the surface and explore challenging ideas together – is foundational to effective teamwork. In this module, you will explore one of the most important contributions to our study of teams and organizations developed in recent years: the idea of psychological safety. You will then explore the importance of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging and how to cultivate these elements in teams. Then you will explore how this relates to creating ethical cultures, cultures that facilitate ethical decision-making. Finally, you will explore the challenges of hierarchy that are innate to teams, developing a better understanding of how to work within hierarchy for effectively leading cultures of safety.
    • Effective teams require that people feel engaged in their work and in their teams. In this module, you will explore key concepts related to creating cultures of engagement. You will explore the idea of motivation and how this relates to engagement. You’ll hear from Larry Gies himself on the value of purpose and why teams with purpose outperform those without a clear purpose. You will explore how to mitigate burnout, which is something that many individuals in teams face today. Finally, you’ll learn about the concept of meaningful work, and how meaningful work can contribute to cultures of engagement. 
    • In this module, you will explore three key elements that facilitate cultures of growth. Growth is where learning and change happen and maintaining a growth mindset for our team cultures is important as we navigate the challenges of the world today. First you will learn about the value of a problem-solving culture and explore how to create a culture in which every individual approaches their work with the mindset to solve problems effectively. Then you will explore the idea of creativity and how to generate a sense of creativity in your teams. Finally, you will use complexity theory to explore how to navigate the inevitable element of change.

Taught by

Elizabeth A. Luckman, Kari Keating and Denise Lewin Loyd


4.8 rating at Coursera based on 2255 ratings

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