Additional Resources: Executive Team Effectiveness Toolkit



A complete list of effective executive team resources shared in Bridgespan's effective executive teams toolkit. 


CEO leadership

Nicki Roth, When the Change Needs to Be You (The Bridgespan Group)
Column by leadership consultant Nicki Roth that helps leaders assess their need to change and offers guidelines for changing leadership behavior

The River Group, Build It and They Will Lead (The River Group)
Perspective by a leading consulting firm to for-profit executive teams on what CEOs must do to actively develop their executive team into a higher performing unit

Roxane White, How to Lead High-Performing Nonprofit Executive Teams (The Bridgespan Group)
The approaches Roxane White, former CEO and president of Nurse-Family Partnership, used to encourage high performance from the executive teams with which she has worked

Work of the executive team

The River Group, Good Plow, Wrong Field (The River Group)
Perspective by a leading consulting firm to for-profit executive teams on how CEOs can ensure their executive teams are focused on the right work at the right level

Ruth Wageman, How to Define the Work of Nonprofit Executive Teams (The Bridgespan Group)
Q&A with leadership expert Ruth Wageman on how to get teams focused on the priorities that will make the most of their valuable time

Executive team composition

Michael D. Watkins, How Managers Become Leaders (Harvard Business Review)
Article by Michael Watkins, professor of Leadership and Organizational Change at IMD, on required perspectives and capabilities of the executive team

Jacques Neatby, The Ballooning Executive Team (Harvard Business Review)
Article by Jacques Neatby, an advisor to North American and European executive teams, on how CEOs can address over-sized executive teams

Nicki Roth, How to Optimize Nonprofit Executive Team Composition (The Bridgespan Group)
Q&A with leadership consultant Nicki Roth on how CEOs can assess what they need to lead their organization over the long haul; provides a good starting point from which to consider who and what roles should be on the executive team

Diversity, equity, and inclusion

Rocfo Lorenzo et al., How Diverse Leadership Teams Boost Innovation (BCG)
Article by BCG partners on how increasing diversity of leadership teams leads to improved innovation and financial performance; includes steps that organizations can take to improve diversity

Sean Thomas-Breitfeld and Frances Kunreuther, Race to Lead: Confronting the Nonprofit Racial Leadership Gap (Building Movement Project)
Report summarizes findings of the Building Movement Project’s survey on nonprofits, leadership, and race in the nonprofit sector; highlights ways the nonprofit sector can approach the racial leadership gap

Equity in the Center, Awake to Woke to Work: Building a Race Equity Culture (see “Senior Leadership Lever”) (ProInspire)
Report by ProInspire, a social sector leadership development organization, that serves as a reference for individuals and organizations expanding their capacity to advance race equity; “Senior Leadership Lever” section identifies characteristics and actions that the senior leadership team need to do this

Racial Equity Impact Assessment Toolkit (Race Forward)
A guide to systematic examination of how different racial and ethnic groups will likely be affected by a proposed action or decision, by Race Forward, a nonprofit racial justice organization

Maria Hernandez, How to Integrate Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion into Everyday Operations (The Bridgespan Group)
Article by Maria Hernandez, practice leader for Global Consulting Solutions at InclusionINC, on the practices and behaviors that nonprofit leaders need to adopt in order to live into a commitment to integrating diversity, equity, and inclusion into their organizations

Effective meetings and communication processes

Making Every Meeting Matter (Harvard Business Review)
Harvard Business Review guide that provides a variety of perspectives on making any meeting more effective

The Meeting Advantage (The Table Group)
Web-based tool developed by The Table Group, Pat Lencioni’s consulting firm, that provides information on cultivating organizational health through strong meetings; subscription required

Patrick Lencioni, Death by Meeting and Death by Meeting digital materials (The Table Group)
Noted author and speaker on team effectiveness Pat Lencioni shares his approach to meetings, including activities and templates to guide implementation

Libbie Landles-Cobb, How to Lead Effective Nonprofit Executive Team Meetings (The Bridgespan Group)
Short article by a Bridgespan partner that identifies common mistakes and good practices to transform nonprofit executive team meetings from time sinks into engaging opportunities to really get things done

Executive team behaviors

Decision making

Caroline McAndrews et al., Structuring Leadership: Alternative Models for Distributing Power and Decision-Making in Nonprofit Organizations (Building Movement Project)
Article by the Building Movement Project—an initiative focused on addressing leadership in the nonprofit sector—that highlights distributed leadership structures, including elements and practices that must be in place for alternative models to work and common indicators of success

Team dynamics

Building a Better Executive Team (The River Group)
Perspective by a leading consulting firm to for-profit executive teams on the indicators of success for an effective executive team, particularly around assessing the quality of team dialogue

Laura Delizonna, High-Performing Teams Need Psychological Safety. Here’s How to Create It (Harvard Business Review)
Article by Laura Delizonna, executive coach and Stanford University instructor, on the importance of trust for high-performing teams and how teams can increase their level of psychological safety

Peter Thies, How to Support Effective Dynamics in Nonprofit Executive Teams (The Bridgespan Group)
Q&A with Peter Thies, president of Boston-based consultancy The River Group, offers a glimpse inside his playbook for developing effective nonprofit executive teams, highlighting the team dynamics that support collaboration

Personal Histories Exercise (The Table Group)
Exercise to improve trust by giving team members an opportunity to demonstrate vulnerability in a low-risk way and to help team members understand one another at a fundamental level so that they can avoid making false attributions about behaviors and intentions

Team Effectiveness Exercise (The Table Group)
Exercise to give team members a forum for providing one another with focused, direct, actionable feedback about how their individual behavior can improve the performance of the team


Libbie Landles-Cobb, et al., Increasing Nonprofit Executive Team Effectiveness (The Bridgespan Group)
Article by Bridgespan consultants that examines the different priorities, expectations, systems, and behaviors that can improve executive team performance; includes a number of experts’ perspectives, across critical elements of effective executive teams

Patrick Lencioni, The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else In Business (Jossey-Bass)
Noted author and speaker on team effectiveness, Pat Lencioni’s book focuses on key aspects of organizational health, including executive team’s role, communication, systems, and meetings

Ruth Wagemen et al., Senior Leadership Teams: What It Takes to Make Them Great (Harvard Business Review Press)
Leadership expert Ruth Wagemen and co-authors from Harvard University and Hay Group’s McClelland Institute for Research and Innovation focus on how to determine whether a senior leadership team is needed, craft its purpose, ensure it consists of the right members, provide appropriate structures and support, and sharpen team competencies

Leslie Bonner, Building Healthy and Effective Nonprofit Leadership Teams (Dewey & Kay Nonprofit Consultants)
Report by Leslie Bonner, a consultant, coach, and facilitator for nonprofits, on findings from a survey of senior teams in nonprofit organizations, including common challenges and ways to address these

Jon R. Katzenbach, Teams at the Top (Harvard Business Review Press)
Book by Jon Katzenbach, a leading practitioner in organizational strategies, that explores dynamics that characterize leadership groups at the top of organizations

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