Build a Diverse Team

Building and managing teams that deliver results is the foundation of conservation success. Just as no one organization can do it alone, no single person can do it all. Navigating local intricacies and truly understanding local needs can take many years. Hiring respected local staff and listening to their guidance can accelerate this learning curve and establish credibility more quickly. 

It is important to remember that as much as you may wish to assimilate, if you are not born and raised in that place, you will always be an outsider and should be comfortable embracing this role.
— Manuel Mejia, Pacific

Strong teams include people with varying knowledge, expertise, skill sets, networks, and styles. They also include people with different backgrounds, upbringing, and experiences, as this diversity of perspectives will help the team create more robust strategies and handle tough times. A diverse team will also be more effective in engaging the diverse group of partners, including community leaders, landowners, businesses, funders, and government agencies, essential to lasting success. The challenge for many new managers is to have confidence that the team will do the right thing, to publicly give them credit for their successes, and then work with them when setbacks inevitably occur. 

There are essential roles for different people with lots of different skills in any successful conservation project—from scientific expertise, to political and agency relationships, to fundraising ability, to fostering engagement and building partnerships with communities. It takes a team of people that possess each of these skills to have a successful conservation program.
— Kim Hum, Hawaiʻi

  Agree on Goals and Roles

Agree on Goals and Roles

  Formalize Partnership Agreements

Formalize Partnership Agreements

  Build a Diverse Team

Build a Diverse Team

  Plan Collaboratively

Plan Collaboratively

  Think Ridge to Reef

Think Ridge to Reef

  Engage Local Allies and Opponents

Engage Local Allies and Opponents