We have been helping project groups across Europe see teamwork in a new light. Managers learned that singing in a choir or carrying an injured friend down a mountain could help them achieve more at work. [October 2018] » Read more
What does it mean to make a team more than the sum of its parts? This was the theme of recent workshops we ran with teams in the UK, France, Germany and Switzerland – teams who were all about to embark on key phases of commercial development requiring them to work together intensely and deliver project results quickly.
We wanted to give people a real and ‘lived’ sense of the necessary ingredients for high achieving teams and how to reproduce that at work. As part of this process we asked people to share some of their best team experiences outside of work – and as a result were treated to some remarkable stories of rescue, resilience, escape and performance.
We heard about the choir whose members could not initially all sing in tune or read music and yet the sharing, mentoring and fun of learning for a common goal brought them all together to a performance standard.
We also learned how rapidly skills and resources were deployed across a group to get an injured friend to safety. Skills people had forgotten they had (orienteering) or taken for granted (local knowledge) were dusted off and put into action as sub-teams were needed to make a plan work.
What these stories had in common was valuable information about how we best work together – and, importantly, they were also understood at a deeper level by the teams than mere presentation of a theory.
Some of the messages people took away included: having a crystal clear view of the outcome (how great it will it be when we have finished); the importance of recognising and valuing excellence in team members in all its guises, not just role-related expertise; and caring about the collective output of the team.