Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

Margaret Mead

The first thing to understand about launching a “Doing Good Project” is that everyone would “do good” if it was easy. Anyone can “do good” once, but to consistently “do good” requires a sustainable project. In this post, we are going to take a brief look at starting a small “Doing Good Project” with the goal of making it sustainable over years, not weeks or days.

Anyone who wants to launch a “Doing Good Project” should be inspired because they are choosing to become an innovator. Those who embark on this journey are innovating good, and in so doing will change the world of those they serve, and spread a spirit of doing good to everyone with whom they have contact. If enough of us innovate good it will heal pain, inspire purpose, relieve suffering, and displace evil – all of which are necessary to change the world.

Everything begins with choosing your team. Jim Collins, one of the most insightful business intellectuals in the world describes it this way, “The executives who ignited the transformations from good to great did not first figure out where to drive the bus and then get people to take it there. No, they first got the right people on the bus (and the wrong people off the bus) and then figured out where to drive it.”

Brenna Sniderman writes in Forbes Magazine about “The Five Personalities of Innovators,” which we can use as a blueprint for developing your team. Take a look at the following tips drawn from her article, and go to work getting the right people on your bus, then present your “Doing Good Project” and let your team work to make the dream a reality.

Diverse Teams Do Good Better

Forbes Insights’ recent study, “Nurturing Europe’s Spirit of Enterprise: How Entrepreneurial Executives Mobilize Organizations to Innovate,” isolates and identifies five major personalities crucial to fostering a healthy atmosphere of innovation within an organization. Some are more entrepreneurial, and some more process-oriented – but all play a critical role in the process.

Brenna Sniderman, The Five Personalities of Innovators

One of the most common mistakes made by those who would “innovate good” is assembling a team of people who think exactly like them. While this certainly feels great when you initially launch your idea, eventually there will be a need for personalities, perspectives, and skills outside your group’s expertise. In the end, groups lacking diversity struggle to create a sustainable project, which is why so many incredible efforts for good die. Endure the initial discomfort of diversity and you will create a sustainable project rather than one with a short shelf life.

Find Your “Mover and Shaker”

These are the ones who like being in the front, driving projects forward (and maybe promoting themselves in the process), but at the end of the day, they provide the push to get things done.

Brenna Sniderman, The Five Personalities of Innovators

This one is easy if you are a “Mover and Shaker,” but if you are not it might be difficult to bear with the weaknesses of this group. What will make finding and keeping a “Mover and Shaker” possible is if you decide from the beginning that your primary interest is “doing good” not getting credit.

Find Your “Experimenter”

Persistent and open to all new things, experimenters are perhaps the perfect combination for bringing a new idea through the various phases of development and execution.

Brenna Sniderman, The Five Personalities of Innovators

Finding and working with your “Experimenter” will require the humility to realize that they will often have the best ideas, even better than your own. Life will go well if you decide to become a cheerleader encouraging the “Experimenter” to lead the team through the difficult phases of development. Remember your goal is innovating good, not being the smartest member of your team.

Find More Than One “Star Pupil”

They’re good at … well, they’re good at everything, really: developing their personal brand, seeking out and cultivating the right mentors, identifying colleagues’ best talents and putting them to their best use. Somehow, they seem to be able to rise through the ranks and make things happen…

Brenna Sniderman, The Five Personalities of Innovators

By now, you are beginning to understand that as the founder of your “Doing Good Project” you are unlikely to be the star. In truth, if you are going to create and build a sustainable “Doing Good Project” you want to surround yourself with the best people possible. In the case of “Star Pupils” you should consider finding people from a generation different than your own. If you are a Baby Boomer look to Generation X or Millennials, and vice versa for the younger generations.

Find – Don’t Fear – Your “Controller”

Uncomfortable with risk, Controllers thrive on structure and shy away from more nebulous projects.

Brenna Sniderman, The Five Personalities of Innovators

Structure, discipline, and making the trains run on time are usually the qualities that separate funded from unfunded “Doing Good Projects.” Controllers are the people who make certain those who want to invest in your project can trust their time and money won’t be wasted.

Find – Don’t Resist – Your “Hanger-On”

Forget the less-than-flattering name; these executives exist to bring everyone back down to earth and tether them to reality.

Brenna Sniderman, The Five Personalities of Innovators

Those who set out to “do good” tend to be idealists with big hearts, which is why they need someone to help them understand that most progress is incremental. The “Hanger-On” can be the person to tell you to start small and build, rather than quickly exhaust your resources trying to go big before you are ready.

Understand Team Building is Your Most Important Work

Because it’s not just about that romantic “ah ha!” moment in front of a chalkboard or a cocktail napkin, it’s about the nitty-gritty work that comes after the idea: getting it accepted and implemented.

Brenna Sniderman, The Five Personalities of Innovators

While many will ignore these tips about team building in their rush to have their first event, be aware that their first event will likely be their last. While team building is difficult and sometimes thankless work, it will ensure that the project you start will still be doing good decades from now.