Building a balanced team

A balanced team consists of recruiting and training staff that can think in systems, make independent decisions, learn from each other quickly, and mobilise key stakeholders (donors and market actors) towards joint actions. 

The right kind of talent

Hiring the ‘right’ kind of talent, making investments in the team, and having a leader that understands the approach, are all important. Ensuring that staff have the right mix of skills to perform well is a key element of success for market systems approaches. A good resource is Engineers Without Borders’ five key factors of a strong market facilitator.

Being a market facilitator

Tool for adapting staff roles for good market facilitation.

Attitudes and capacities of a strong market facilitator

The factors are broken down into specific behaviours. For example, a good communicator can relay messages to market actors effectively, practice active listening, and regularly observe, analyse, and share information to improve understanding of the market system. These roles and capacities can be used as the basis for staff competency frameworks and hiring templates, which can in turn guide performance reviews.

Hiring the 'right' kind of staff is an organisational priority that everyone in the hiring process should understand, from programme managers overseas to national HR departments.

Invest in staff

Ensure all project staff, from middle management to M&E staff to field based business specialists, have a strong grasp of market systems approaches. Leverage opportunities for key staff to interact with other thought leaders. This can happen through exchange visits with other projects or participation at events.

The art of knowledge exchange: a results-focused planning guide for development practitioners

Results-oriented approach to learning based on the World Bank's framework.

Leading-edge people 

This group helps the team to follow the principles of markets systems approaches and is also in a position to (gently) push donor thinking. A leading-edge programme manager can be especially valuable.

M4P Operational Guide, Chapter 6: Management

How implementers can move away from 'business as usual'.