How to Revive a Struggling Team

October 7, 2020

While it won't be easy, successfully reviving your team will likely be one of your most formative college experiences.

The lessons you learn through the process, and the challenges you overcome, will be more interesting to hiring managers than your GPA.

More importantly, the students and people you will have impacted will continue to grow long after you graduate and leave campus.

Build a Strong Foundation

A strong foundation starts with a core group of leaders with a clear vision about What Enactus is and more importantly Why Enactus is important.

At a minimum, that core needs to include a committed Primary Advisor and at least 5 executive leaders.

We outline what those positions are, including their job descriptions, and the resources available to each of those leaders below:

Establish Your Why

Reviving a team is almost impossible without a clear understanding of your purpose and vision.

A clear inspiring purpose will give your core leaders the charisma required to attract new members to your team.

And that inspiring vision will keep the right people around even when things aren't as organized as you'd like them to be (every team has its own version of organized chaos).

We developed this "Leading with WHY Activity" to help teams engage their members around this vital aspect of Enactus.

Formally go through this exercise in an upcoming meeting (executive leaders or general membership).

As a follow up, encourage each member to speak with at least 10 friends or classmates about Enactus over the next 7-10 days to jumpstart the recruitment process.

Discuss what worked, and what didn't, and refine your message to be even more effective.

Make a Plan

Now that you have your core team set, its time to start making some plans and dividing up the work as a team.

While all projects might be entirely collaborative in the beginning, its best to start having members specialize in some of the aspects of the work they're more interested. Then, you can start building small teams around those leaders. A few common teams are a Marketing Team (which focuses primarily on social media and promotions), and a Recruitment Team (which focuses on the continued promotion of Enactus to grow the network and bring in new members).

Here's a goal setting activity you can use with your executive team:

The team won't really know how to work until you start doing the work. It's important that you're making plans and seeing them through, even though your plans are likely still rough.

"Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good"

Oftentimes, teams can get stuck in analysis paralysis, overwhelmed by too many options.

When you're feeling stuck, step back, take a deep breath, and focus on the small actionable things you can do now.

Learn From Successful Enactus Teams

One of the best ways to be inspired by Enactus is through the Instagram accounts of our teams.

If you're feeling stuck, assign everyone on your team the project of researching and engaging with other teams through Instagram.

Not only will you see firsthand how other teams are recruiting, the projects they are doing, and how they are promoting Enactus, you'll also have the opportunity to post comments and begin building your Enactus network.

We've put together this list of some of our more active Instagram accounts as a starting point to begin following.

While you're at it -- go ahead and create an Instagram account for your team.

Important: create the account under a shared email ( that can be passed down as people graduate. You'd be surprised how often people get locked out of various accounts after someone graduates and the team loses contact.

Research and Develop a Project

Now onto the hard part: identifying and developing a project.

As your team starts to gain a solid footing, its time to start investing more time in the formal project development process.

You want to engage your team in brainstorming to find the ideas the group is most passionate about and most aligned to address.

Review this article to familiarize yourself with the Design Thinking process and how it applies to your team.

There are dozens of articles and videos on design thinking so use this article as a starting point not an end.

Investing heavily in the understanding and application of design thinking will be a great investment of your time, and the time of your members, because its such a highly sought after skill across all sizes and types of companies.

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