It’s fall time. Everyone wants to get their projects done by Christmas and the holiday season.
We had an ongoing project which fell on my lap and made me feel a bit irritated due to the sudden extra workload I hadn’t anticipated. It also gave me the possibility to work with a team I haven’t been working on earlier. Those four unbelievably skilled gentlemen have made my day afterward so many times I have lost count.
Organization charts change from time to time. People are transferred to new teams and selected by competence, by the title they have, or because of something else, regardless of the reasons behind this team, it had a great outcome.
They had never worked together on the same team. Still, within a few weeks, they have managed to create a way of working where new ideas pop up like mushrooms after rain. They know each other’s strengths and development points. They spar each other to get better insights and openly discuss how to receive the best possible solution for customers. Even though a Skype call one can hear the inspiration, excitement, and enjoyment, they have reached. Just listening to them makes me smile. The qualities of these men; a combination of habits, humor, ambitions, professional competencies have proven to be a combination that fits the old saying, and they are more than the sum of their parts.
Exemplary team function enabled
Isn’t every team supposed to be well-functioning and more than the sum of its parts, where people inspire each other to do their best? How do we enable excellence in the teams we create?
Looking at this from the outside, it seems like they managed to have the right elements to support their work. They have got proper goals, and they have created their routines to use the competencies they possess to support their work. They take responsibility for their actions and decisions and take pride in doing their job well. And they remember to complement each other for success.
They are not stuck within one unit. They dare to think out of the box, and instead of limiting their work to just one organizational block, they move around the organization. They see what they can do in the big picture.
One of the team members has a habit of saying, “and now we need some concrete actions.” I’m not sure were that origin from, but at times people are so fond of planning. We’re just stuck on preparing and don’t seem to know how to switch into action mode. This team is ready for actions, and they are willing to roll up their sleeves and make sure it happens.
Who wouldn’t want to be part of that team or work with that team?
No room for free-riders
Some might disagree, but I like to compare specialists to an individual sportsman. They are highly skilled and highly self-sufficient. Occasionally one can see their need to do things solo. It’s not self-evident that these people like or even want to work in a team.
Leo Tolstoy, the famous Russian writer, once said, “everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” Wouldn’t it be more comfortable or at least more productive to try to find a personal way to benefit from the team instead of ignoring it?
I believe any team can be excellent if the team chooses to be it. It’s all about the team members. If they are willing to give, they will succeed in getting something back. If team members are planning only to receive, it crashes the team dynamics. There’s no room for free-riders in a good team.
Establishing and starting a new team is really about building a new culture and making distinct advantages visible people can have if they give in return. It’s thinking about how to achieve the shared outcome and how do we make the team functional.
Dare to share! Give some, and you’ll get some!
…and for those four gentlemen: Thanks guys for reminding me how good it can be! You rock!