Team Building Exercises – Worth It? Yes AND No

Team Building Exercise

Depending on the exercise, you might be learning a lot about communication – unless your boss is the competitive type then it’s all about who wins.  All work on communication is awesome – regardless the venue.  This environment can break down barriers that your team members have been experiencing -which is always a good thing!

Now, you’re back in the office – can you apply what you just learned?  If you and your team were struggling only with working together, most likely you can.  However, there’s a lot more going on within your team than human interaction.  You also have expectations, the need for good automation, processes, and external communication that creates stress on your team.   

Managers who see these team building exercises as ‘fix-it events’ will not get what they want.  These exercises don’t ‘build teams’ – they build (hopefully) fun memories and relationship bonds that people can fall back on when times get tough.  Use team building events as rewards only.

If your team is not on the Same Road, at the Same Time, and going in the Same Direction on a regular basis – ask for help.

karenwiley@appliedteamdynamics.com

Making the Impossible Feasible, then Successful

 

#teamwork, #teambuildingevents, #FabricofTeamwork

An Honest Conversation about Trust

Trust – it means relying on your teammate to do what they said they were going to do.  Well, there wouldn’t be a huge project management industry if everyone did what they said they were going to do.  Sports teams wouldn’t practice for 1000’s of hours if it was easy to create trust.

Trust is crucial in a marriage, required (but repairable) in a friendship, but it’s really non-existent in the office.  Look over at your team mate – do you trust them with your job? Would they trust you with their job?  At best, we trust but verify – that really means we don’t trust at all.  Quite frankly, there’s too much riding on the task/project/effort – your next performance review, your raise, your promotion.  Everyone has their own agenda and without clear communication, each person creates their own priorities out of the tasks in front of them. Don’t even get me started on the trust fall….

Let’s focus instead on how we interact with each other.  Let’s focus on improving our communication skills – upward, downward and lateral.  Let’s focus on asking for what we need out of our systems instead of being stuck with ‘it’s what we always do’.  Let’s focus on expectations and processes – are they appropriate? Speak up if they’re not so you can figure out solutions collaboratively.

Trust is created slowly and only through intention.  Truly great teams have earned the trust between them – be that team! Or ask how you can become one!

karenwiley@appliedteamdynamics.com

Making the Impossible Feasible, then Successful

A Successful Team is a Powerful Force

I’m drawn to team work so completely because I’ve seen the amazing power it can generate.  I’ve witnessed many times how a group of people who were on the same road at the same time going in the same direction moved mountains!  How the absolutely impossible tasks and deadlines were accomplished with integrity, pride and a sense of purpose.  We rose above the politics and the mundane to become unstoppable and amazingly successful.

Individuals can be smart and intelligent, but a group of people are geniuses.  True collaborative teams will grow each good idea into greatness.  Each participant coming to the table with their best self and work together – it is POWERFUL!

Is your team capable of moving mountains?

karenwiley@appliedteamdynamics.com

Making the Impossible Feasible, then Successful

The Fabric of Teamwork

Fabric of Teamwork

There is an invisible web, or fabric, that runs through every group of people and it is composed of human interactions, expectations, communication, processes and system automation.  It is the underlying reason that groups succeed or fail. The web/fabric is dynamic and moves as events trigger it – deadlines, new management, or change in personnel. 

But slow changes that creep in without anyone realizing it, can destroy it.  When expectations get out of concert with reality; when communication is not kept up with growth; when processes become obsolete but held on tightly as ‘we’ve always done it this way’; when a new system wasn’t truly integrated, or Day 2 items never materialized. Or hardest yet – when a young startup with new experts must learn to work together and create the fabric.

As you look to figure out what is going wrong with your group of people, you need to ensure you look at all aspects of them.  What is triggering them, where are the holes in their team fabric, where are the areas that have become rigid?

 Karenwiley@appliedteamdynamics.com

Making the impossible feasible, then successful

 

How can a project manager help a startup?

Startups are hot beds of chaos. The constraint of time vs resources vs scope (aka ToDo’s) is never more critical than in a small company. If entrepreneurs have reached 15 or 20 employees in their company, a few things have happened – they have financing, they are on the edge of finding, or have found, a ‘breakthrough’ product, and they’ve hired a few business people and experts.  The gift, and the curse, of financing is that now there’s more cash to get it all done but there are either banks with payments due or an investor in their board room sharing their profits. There are no specific ‘projects’ but there are very defined goals and very real constraints.

What if they had a resource to turn to, someone skilled at negotiating the time vs resources vs ToDo’s, skilled at helping teams work together toward a common goal, skilled at making the most of whatever software is handy, skilled at communication and skilled at efficiency? Here is Project Management for Startups. We figure out the who, what, when, why, and how, help with communication feedback loops (aka reporting), and help with just the right amount of process to create efficiency but not bureaucracy. We help breakthrough the current obstacle, streamline efforts, and create some stability. We help keep you moving forward and ensure your processes grow with you.