At the end of last year, we had one of our full team meetings. The aim was to brainstorm and clarify the small number of top priority goals throughout 2016. During a highly engaging session, the whole team came out with some fantastic ideas to help us achieve what we wanted to achieve with every team member contributing.
It got me thinking…
…because it was the same at the end of 2014. We had a ‘lean walk-through’ identifying opportunities to be more streamlined and increase productivity. Again, unique out-of-the-box suggestions came from all team members that would never have been thought of otherwise.
In fact, each day, almost without realising it, people are giving new ideas, working together and helping each other. Over and above their job role, they’ll help another team player. If one is busy, another steps in. I’ve seen sales people helping the accounts team, operations helping sales and marketing helping operations. In short, everyone values everyone else. With shared interests, shared goals and shared vision, anyone is happy to do anything to move the whole team forward. The structure is flat, the goal is shared and we go there.
“Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, working together is success.” – Henry Ford
Together, we can go so much further. A champion team is so much better than a team of champions. It’s well-known how geese fly in formation, but just imagine of the leader of the ‘V’ stayed there for the whole migration. They simply wouldn’t achieve it. They can fly over 70% further by working together.
Being part of such a highly motivated, innovative and respectful team is a privilege. More than that, organisations that have this underlying strength and trust have an advantage. As Stephen Covey points out in his Speed of Trust, there is a kind of tangible tax they call “trust tax” imposed on companies that don’t have a high trust culture.
Alongside this, customers get the benefit. Let’s face it – no-one is perfect. But if one person fails, they aren’t left to sort it out themselves. The team rallies round to get a problem sorted quicker, faster and often without the customer even hearing about it. No-one takes the attitude that ‘it isn’t my job’.
It also is crucial to innovation. New ideas aren’t left to two or three. Put a big dry-wipe board on the wall that is available for anyone to write down ideas on how to improve. It’s amazing what ideas are written on there.
We all know the value of teamwork. We see it every day in business, sport, the medical world and so on. That’s why it is one of our core values. But when you stop and think about it, it is even more valuable than we may think.