What is team work anyway?

brainstorm imageGetting a project out the door is easy – each person does their part ensuring they aren’t called out as a problem and everyone looks good.  Isn’t project management about team work? NO.

Let’s look at a family and their camping vacation.  Wife packed the food and clothes; Husband packed the gear; Kids packed the games. Overall goal – have fun.  But, everyone has their own agenda and their job matched it – Wife wanted their needs met, Husband wanted to have fun, and the Kids didn’t want to be bored.  That’s a great project and the goal was most likely met…easy, peasy and NOT what teamwork is. Each person worked individually toward a common goal.

Same family, same vacation – tragedy strikes.  On the drive, lightning starts a fire and the highway is blocked.  People are stuck with construction ‘jersey walls’ on both sides.  The winds shift suddenly and the fire heads towards the cars.   300 cars: all kinds of people – old, young, babies, disabled, and pets. Everyone must get out and get to the nearby lake to be safe.  Tweens work together to get the pets.  Women get the mobile elderly, talking calmly to ease their fears – they work with the moms to get the little ones and their critical stuff gathered.  Men work together to carry the disabled and the very slow. Everyone contributes where their strengths lie, and agendas are woven together.   THIS is teamwork.

Brainstorming events are fabulous team work events when individuals speak to their strengths.  If people shared their ideas/their strengths in every endeavor and if they were heard with openness, then our agendas would be woven together, and a better solution would be created.

This is possible.  I’ve seen it and I’ve created it.

karenwiley@appliedteamdynamics.com

Making the Impossible Feasible, then Successful

 

(forgive all gender generalizations in this narrative)

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