True teamwork is one of the rarest, most exhilarating and most productive human activities possible. Every business wants to harness this incredible energy, but achieving such a level of motivation is not always easy.
A team is not just a group of individuals who work at the same location or have the same logo on their business cards. A real team consists of people who may be unequal in experience, talent or education, but who are equal in their commitment to working together to achieve goals for the good of the organization, each other and their customers.
If companies are going to be successful, their employees can no longer view organizations as departments, divisions and branch offices. They must see the bigger picture and resolve to work together in new ways. This may even require cooperation with the competition. Think of all the mergers and acquisitions in the past few years—a company’s number-one competitor today could be a partner tomorrow.
Futurist Bob Treadway, CSP, from Littleton, Colo., often gives the Mensa IQ test to his seminar participants. He has found many “average” people, when working as a team, test at “genius” level or higher. Participants contribute in different ways: some brainstorm; others work alone and then report back to the group. Treadway finds that a team “becomes a genius when everyone works together.”
Building a real team gets real results, but it can’t be done with slogans and directives. For example, Ed Stair, senior vice president at Gap, encourages innovative thinking among his employees to increase efficiency and productivity. Teamwork starts with respecting each person’s individual contribution and showing appreciation. Then, get the group excited about its possibilities for achievement and its potential for real genius through a team effort.
BY PATRICIA FRIPP, CSP, CPAE
Patricia Fripp, CSP, CPAE, is an executive speech coach, sales trainer and award-winning professional speaker on change, customer service, promoting business and communication skills. She is author of “Make It! So You Don’t Have to Fake It!” and “Get What You Want,” and
contributing author to “Speaking Secrets of the Masters and Insights Into Excellence.” She can be reached at PFripp@Fripp.com, (800) 634-3035 and by visiting www.fripp.com.