Keys to Creating and Maintaining a High-Functioning Team Culture

All members have a voice, that is heard

Getting your voice heard can give you so much, especially in the way of meeting others and exposing yourself to a greater audience of people, where you will have the chance to interact with a greater spectrum of culturally diverse people, much like, or different to yourself.

Wellness initiatives

Leaders of high functioning teams recognize the stresses inherent in our contemporary work environment, as well as their downstream impacts and the many manifestations of burnout. Efforts should be made to mitigate the many and ever-expanding factors contributing to stress and burnout. Recognized solutions include finding meaning in work, learning to be resilient, providing resources to support efficiency in work, and while not always practical, working less.

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Just culture

Just culture is a concept related to systems thinking which emphasizes that mistakes are generally a product of faulty organizational cultures, rather than solely brought about by the person or persons directly involved. In a just culture, after an incident, the question asked is, “What went wrong?

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Speak up safely programs

Healthcare practitioners are expected to speak up about patient safety concerns to help intercept errors and avoid adverse patient outcomes. By ‘speaking up,’ we mean raising concerns for the benefit of patient safety and quality of care upon recognizing or becoming aware of a risk or a potential risk.

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Codes of conduct

To assure a collaborative and inclusive culture, radiologists, interventional radiologists, radiation oncologists, and medical physicists should conduct themselves in a professional manner, respecting all individuals, including patients and colleagues, and advocate for those who cannot advocate for themselves.

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Environment of professionalism

Medical professionalism is a belief system in which group members (“professionals”) declare (“profess”) to each other and the public the shared competency standards and ethical values they promise to uphold in their work and what the public and individual patients can and should expect from medical professionals.

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Dignity and respect

Dignity and respect in the workplace follows the “golden rule” of treating others the way you want to be treated. A workplace where everyone shows each other dignity and respect usually has plenty of laughter, a free-flow of ideas and clear policies on expected work results and behavior.

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Collaboration and team science

Team science is a collaborative effort to address a scientific challenge that leverages the strengths and expertise of professionals trained in different fields. Although traditional single-investigator driven approaches are ideal for many scientific endeavors, coordinated teams of investigators with diverse skills and knowledge may be especially helpful for studies of complex social problems with multiple causes.

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A shared vision

Strategic planning is the process of documenting and establishing a direction—by assessing both where you are and where you’re going. The strategic plan gives you a place to record your mission, vision, and values, as well as your long-term goals and the action plans you’ll use to reach them.

Strategic planning

Strategic planning is an organization’s process of defining its strategy, or direction, and making decisions on allocating its resources to pursue this strategy. It is here that priorities are set. It may also extend to control mechanisms for guiding the implementation of the strategy.

SWOT analysis

SWOT analysis is a strategic planning technique used to help a person or organization identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats related to business competition or project planning.

Team functions as a learning organization

Peter Senge stated in an interview that a learning organization is a group of people working together collectively to enhance their capacities to create results they really care about. Peter Senge’s 5 characteristics: systems thinking, personal mastery, mental models/open culture, shared vision and transform from individual to team learning approaches.

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Scenario planning

Scenario planning is making assumptions on what the future is going to be and how your business environment will change overtime in light of that future. More precisely, Scenario planning is identifying a specific set of uncertainties, different “realities” of what might happen in the future of your business.

Jonathan Kruskal

Melvin E. Clouse Professor of Radiology, Harvard Medical School
Chair, Department of Radiology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

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