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The Four Starring Roles Every Business Project Needs

February 17, 2012  
As social media marketers know, social outreach projects need to function like clockwork—often in real time—to be truly effective.

But how do you build project teams that consistently produce? Here's an interesting suggestion for achieving that goal.

Michael Schrage recently challenged businesses to put their best people on their most boring, everyday tasks once in a while. Why? Because your "stars," when assigned to menial challenges, will come up with approaches and solutions that "annihilate inefficiencies," he argues, and build your team's creative prowess over time.

The People Equation's Jennifer Miller takes this philosophy a step further, and asserts that being able to identify and fill four key roles on any given project enables your top talent to better tackle any initiative.

The four roles you'll need to fill with smart people to move your projects forward—and keep your teamwork vital—are:

  • Creator. The visionaries on your team, creators come up with original ideas and pass them on to those who can convert them into serious solutions.
  • Advancer. An "advancer" builds connections within the group, forming coalitions and ensuring stakeholders' voices get heard.
  • Refiner. Your project "editor," the refiner spots gaps in your process, and fills them.
  • Executor. The milestones person keeps the project moving forward—on time and on budget.

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  • by Zack Swire Fri Feb 17, 2012 via web

    This is so critical and so often not handled this way. We give titles and job descriptions but don't make actionable roles very clear. We hold meetings where people take tons of note but don't do anything with them. At my agency, we definitely work more towards this model, but haven't described it in this fashion. I like this a lot and think it brings clarity to the team and how best to execute in the best fashion to produce the results we're all looking for.



  • by JB Fri Feb 17, 2012 via web

    One more point or perhaps a benchmark is when your key people become over utilized (the Peter Principle, or when their potentials are not realized or capitalized upon because existing roles and status quo are deemed more important.

  • by Kirsten Wright Thu Feb 23, 2012 via web

    So important - even the best ideas can fail if the right team isn't put in place to create, execute and maintain. This principle is very obvious is social media campaigns for brands that try and do it all with one person managing every role.

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