1. Coogan, Neil MSN, MBA, RN-BC, CEN

Article Content

Dr. Cynthia Armstrong Persily's goal in writing this book is to teach others "how to prepare teams to effectively lead transformation in their organizations, communities, and beyond" (p. xi). It is safe to say the author met her goal, for this book is a comprehensive review of all aspects of team leadership and team development. The book provides a relevant contribution to the healthcare field by providing significant information to help leaders manage effective nursing and interprofessional teams. The author's credentials and experiences place her in an optimal position to provide clear examples and case studies.


The book is organized into four nursing and healthcare team sections: (a) models and skills, (b) actions, (c) issues and challenges, and (d) leveraging results. Each section is then divided into separate chapters. Each chapter provides objectives, a summary and next steps, and questions for thought at the end. In Section 1, the author sets the stage by offering a comprehensive definition of the concept of teamwork in nursing and health care and posits the impact effective teams have on quality. Dr. Persily also describes team competencies that are developed during each nursing educational level. The author presents several instruments, including the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator that can be used during team development stages. She also discusses the concept of collaborative capacity in teams and the impact of team climate. Section 1 illustrates relational coordination and tools to help teams through the early stages of development such as charters, ground rules, and issues of transparency.


Section 2 focuses on team actions and addresses organizational factors such as culture, structure, and politics. IN Section 2, Dr. Persily also reviews elements of effective team meetings and project planning. The chapters in this section provide links to tools that can be very beneficial in planning team projects, such as the Kellogg Foundation's Logic Model. Section 3 focuses on ongoing team maintenance and topics that help spark team creativity such as the SCAMPER technique. The author provides exemplars of team development programs. Finally, in Section 4, Dr. Persily recommends methods to leverage team project results within and outside the organization. She also compares and contrasts the concepts of partnership with teamwork.


Some of the strengths of Dr. Persily's book are the many tools and links that she provides for developing, leading, and evaluating teams. The reader is introduced to every aspect of teamwork imaginable, from managing change to knowing when to let go. The author's use of tables, charts, and models provides visual stimulation to help the reader grasp key concepts. The case studies provide examples of practical application in a myriad of settings. The book is well referenced, and a list of valuable Web sites is also provided to help locate tools and templates.


Although thorough, there are concepts repeated in multiple chapters, which can become tedious. Dr. Persily's book, while valuable to nursing, can also be beneficial for team leaders of other disciplines and interprofessional teams. This book is indispensable to anyone teaching teamwork and partnerships, whether in an academic setting or as a professional nurse developer. In addition, healthcare leaders and educators can use this book to strengthen their own team leadings abilities.


Disclaimer: The author has disclosed that she has no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this review.