Team & Technology. There is NOT and will NEVER be an “app” for that. Meaning – That Technology in all it’s grandeur, will never take the place of dedicated, inspired, talented, unique team-members. How do you assemble YOUR team?
Corporate Team Building
Recently, our team participated in a songwriting/team-building program with a Fortune 500, Financial Services Company. We were very excited to be working with a new group of driven, talented individuals.On this day, we were part of a full-days “technical” training. We were the “Grand Finale”-Non-industry related part of the program. We were there to shake things up, and help shift the thought processes of those in the room from their normal, linear thinking norms.
We were challenged to work in a room, where the layout was, well let’s say not ideal so as to encourage collaboration. A primary goal with our programs! Set up class-room style with long, thin rectangular tables. All attendees were facing forward. Nearly all had laptops in front of them, rather than the round tables we typically prefer. So, what did we do?
Well, we “re-arranged the chairs on the Titantic!” We shut down the lap-tops. We asked those in attendance to move the tables around. Rather than row upon row of faces turned towards “us” at the “front” of the room, we NOW had 4 “pods” or “Squares” of attendees facing each other. Eye contact. Everyone was now able to see lips moving when a colleague was speaking…contributing to the conversation.
NOW, we were set to work together in individual teams, and as a collective whole. And everyone chipped in. Beautiful.
So, what can you do within the “walls” and WITH the walls of your organization to better promote innovation through collaboration?
- Are there actual physical barriers which you as leadership can consider “bringing down?”
- Are there systemic barriers, or parameters that might be easier to change than you think?
- Conversely, are there systemic barriers or policies, which despite how difficult change may appear to be…STILL need to change?
- What can you do right now? Within 3 months…6 months…12 months to better assure that all voices at the table have a say in creating and/or finding solutions?
Let’s think about it….Then, let’s do something about it.
Recently, we facilitated an intimately sized songwriting/team-building program for Emdeon’s IT department. The VP’s who attended this program are charged with blending personnel and systems from an old company, with parts of a new company, new personnel, and new systems.
With Grammy-Nominated Songwriter, Karen Taylor-Good at my side, we convened in the collaborative workspace that is C3 Consulting just south of downtown Nashville. Tackling both the challenges of A) A company in today’s fast-changing healthcare industry, along with the B) The challenges faced by a company in the process of merging the “old with the new”, is a formidable challenge.
However, as we often find…the steeper the hill, the more opportunities we have to improve… the longer view vision we tend to have, which leads to a big picture focus. This is especially good when dealing with such complex issues. If we “can’t see the forest through the trees”, then being strategic in our implementation of new engagement systems, new professional development goals etc. becomes quite a bit more difficult.
If you have work to be done on your teeth, please take note. The following describes a situation that might make you LOVE going to the Dentist. This is not your typical open up and say “ah” experience.
Building a great team is not easy. Developing that team once in place so that it performs consistently at championship level, may be even more challenging. However, Dr. James Munro and his amazing cast at Belle Forest Dental in Bellevue, just a few minutes west of Nashville proper…. are Oscar-worthy in the quality, scripting and demeanor of their service. From the moment you walk into their office “living room” with its West Elm sense of modern, open décor you are swept into feeling as though you are in a spa. Complimentary beverages of a very wide variety await you in their help yourself, guest fridge. Watch the program of your choice on their huge flat screen TV, or assuming it’s not being utilized at the time, take a seat in their highly effective, full body massage chair, isolated in it’s own “Zen” room complete with waterfall sounds, and soft lighting to set the mood. This part of your experience really helps reduce your stress level before entering the inner sanctum.
None of this even begins to touch upon how genuinely friendly, extremely knowledgeable, or efficient the cogs turn here. Susan and Connie in the front desk area are amazing. “What flavor smoothie would you like when you’re finished?
“What’s that,” you say?
“Yes, with fresh fruit, we make a smoothie for you to take with you when done with your procedure! “
Brilliant. This clinic not only goes above and beyond in every aspect of your clinical experience with them, before, during and post-procedure….BUT they also stand by their work. If there is an issue with something that has been done, and you’re not happy with a result, they will take care of it. (Disclaimer – within reason. If you go and bash your teeth on a microphone or with a baseball bat…I wouldn’t expect any help here.)
The staff at Belle Forest Dental truly illustrates the winning definition of TEAM to me. Together Everyone Achieves More.
Times are challenging to us in many ways right now. Especially in light of Fridays’ tragic events in Connecticut, we find ourselves struggling with our emotions.
While volunteering with Animal Rescue Corps (ARC) last week I had a bit of a revelation. This organization has mastered many aspects of what it takes to be a successful “team.”
They actively partner with dozens of localized animal rescue groups around the country in order to utilize what local groups are often better positioned to do, than larger more centralized groups. Foster, train and place adoptable animals. With Egos put aside, ARC is able to travel around the country to a large degree as an organizing, galvanizing and specially trained rescue team for large and devastatingly tragic operations. They have fostered a network of volunteers around the country, who typically already are on the ground with local rescues. The volunteers jump to help and organize further volunteer forces when the need arises for a large operation, as is currently happening with the 50 or so dogs rescued from a dog-fighting ring in Middle TN.
It’s been a joy to see this operation in action over the course of a few rescue’s now. Though of course, we all wish it weren’t needed. The team at ARC knows how to cater to the strengths of their team members, as well as to the strengths of team members from local partner groups. Good works are done. Success in this case means animals saved, and hopefully in many cases, forever homes found. ARC’s mantra has long been “compassion in action.” Sounds like good advice for us all at this time. Thank you for reading, and happy holidays.
Jennifer, along with her co-writer has landed THE Title Track on Superstar Tim McGraw’s new CD. “One of Those Nights” is the name of the song and we are so happy for her…and so proud of her. She is an amazing talent..and more important, a quality person. Way to go Jenn!