Care Redesign I

My Favorite Slide: What Is the Right Size for Your Team?

Infographic · October 3, 2016

Sara J. Singer's Favorite Slide: What Is the Right Size for Your Team?

© NEJM Catalyst.   Click To Enlarge.

Teams work best — whether in the primary care office, the operating room, or the C-suite and board room — when members share information effectively. This becomes more difficult as team size grows. This graph illustrates the problem, showing that the number of links among team members rises exponentially. Specifically, the number of links increases according to this formula:  (n^2 – n)/2. When a team includes two members, there is just one link between them. With six members, there are 15 links. With 10, there are 45 links — likely too many for effective teaming. (This generic phenomenon, widely discussed among team scholars, was described by J. Richard Hackman in Leading Teams:  Setting the Stage for Great Performances.)

When you need to include many people, consider alternative structures, such as organizing a core team of no more than six members, with peripheral members who engage as needed.

 

This slide originally appeared in NEJM Catalyst on November 25, 2015.

New Call for Submissions ­to NEJM Catalyst

Connect

A weekly email newsletter featuring the latest actionable ideas and practical innovations from NEJM Catalyst.

Learn More »

More From Care Redesign I

Poor Care Is the Root of Physician Disengagement

When physicians and health care executives disagree over the purpose of medicine, disengagement is the inevitable result.

Population Health: The Ghost Aim

We are finally at a moment in the history of health care when we know what to do to achieve better health, who should do it, and how to get it done.

Rethinking the Primary Care Workforce — An Expanded Role for Nurses

In the primary care practice of the future, the physician’s role will increasingly be played by nurse practitioners.

Survey Snapshot: How to Achieve Post-Acute Care Coordination

Commentary from NEJM Catalyst Insights Council members on preferred post-acute networks and the importance of communication.

Care Redesign Survey: Strengthening the Post-Acute Care Connection

Ties between health systems and post-acute care facilities are on the rise, but much work remains to truly coordinate care.

The Hard Work of Health Care Transformation

Experience shows that although a changed market may be a helpful precondition to local performance improvement, it hardly guarantees effective operational change.

Creating the Optimized Surgical Journey

Results from the implementation of an enhanced recovery pathway (an “Optimized Surgical Journey”) for patients undergoing cystectomy at MD Anderson Cancer Center.

An Operational Standard for Transitioning Pediatric Patients to Adult Medicine

Transitioning young adults from pediatrics to adult medicine can be cumbersome, patchy, and confusing. A standard operational framework that leverages the right organizational resources could be just the solution primary care needs to reduce frustration, gaps in care, and loss of patients.

The Value of ICU Care at the End of Life

How do physicians decide the right care as patients approach death? The answer must come from the patient.

Flipping the Script — A Patient-Centered Approach to Fixing Acute Care

Too often, the acute care system suffers from a fundamental problem: a model of care that adopts the perspective of payers and providers rather than that of patients.

Connect

A weekly email newsletter featuring the latest actionable ideas and practical innovations from NEJM Catalyst.

Learn More »

Topics

Triggering the Tipping Point in Payment…

The Co-chairs of the Guiding Committee of the Health Care Payment Learning & Action Network…

Coordinated Care

95 Articles

How to Have a High-Performing Employed…

It’s a generally accepted view that all hospital-employed physician groups are constitutionally incapable of operating…

Primary Care

127 Articles

How to Have a High-Performing Employed…

It’s a generally accepted view that all hospital-employed physician groups are constitutionally incapable of operating…

Insights Council

Have a voice. Join other health care leaders effecting change, shaping tomorrow.

Apply Now