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Juggling teams in a large organization is not an easy task. Managers and directors need to monitor each team’s performance and team dynamics and promptly make any changes if necessary. A team needs to have the right combination of experienced employees to provide guidance and fresh hires to bring in new energy and perspective.

Reteaming – restructuring teams within a company, splitting big teams into smaller ones and similar – should be handled with care. One wrong move and everyone’s morale can plummet in record time, affecting productivity as well.

If you’re facing a specific problem that hasn’t been solved yet or a project that needs special attention, you might want to consider putting together a temporary, isolated team.

What is an isolated team?

An isolated team is composed of members who officially belong to other teams. The purpose of an isolated team would be to work on a particular project or assignment that requires a unique focus. An isolated team typically operates outside of standard protocols and has no other responsibilities but to solve the problem in front of them or bring a project to completion.

One of the many ways an isolated team can work is to provide much-needed experimentation in a project that has been stagnant for a while. If you’re unsure how to proceed or resolve an issue, putting together a team of flexible, experienced members can lead to an accomplished goal. This team won’t operate under any formal structures, allowing its members to think more outside the box and play around a bit until they reach a valid solution.

Who should be part of an isolated team?

The type of individuals you add to your isolated team depends on the kind of problem you need solving. The general rule of thumb is to look for those who don’t require much direction and are comfortable in a fast-paced work environment and a dynamic setting.

Throughout this special assignment, members of the isolated team may acquire some level of self-importance. They may feel more capable and more valued in the company than their regular team members. For this reason, you need to frequently check in with all the standard teams and make sure they know they’re doing a good job and are appreciated despite not being a member of the isolated team.


As with any other team dynamic change within an organization, creating an isolated team has its advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, you will have a group dedicated solely to solving a problem you’re facing. On the other hand, it may lead to unpleasant interpersonal relationships between team members if those in the isolated team start feeling like they’re above their original team members.

Your job, as the manager, is to balance this out. Take time out of your day to make sure everyone affected by the isolated team directly or indirectly is doing okay. And once the issue is resolved, you can disband the isolated team until further notice.

Discover the best way to create an isolated team for specific problem-solving tasks, as well as how to consistently connect with your leadership team and predictably turn them into highly engaged employees.

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Inscape Consulting Group
Greg Nichvalodoff, BSc. BM (Honors), MBA, PCC, CMC
Office: 604.943.0800
Mobile: 604.831.4734