Teamwork: Playing (nice) with partners
Traditionally we have thought of teams as consisting of those connected by an office, an organizational chart, or a brand identity. But in this modern world, those boundaries matter less and less. With contract employees, consortia, "virtual companies" and partnerships emerging as more prominent organizational models, our definition of "team" needs to expand beyond the boundaries of whose payroll system you're on.
Today's teams are organized around shared missions, mutually beneficial alliances and common interests, with many of the players drawing incomes and profits from separate sources but resulting from cooperative efforts. In the travel industry, for example, airlines partner with hotels, shuttle services and restaurants to provide vacation packages to the shopping-weary tourist rather than forming a single company who tries to do it all.
This idea is hardly new. Nor is team building within an organization, even team building that unites newly merging corporate entities under one brand banner.
But what we haven't seen happen much is cross-organizational team building - in the above example, the airline inviting its hotel, shuttle and restaurant partners to participate in a joint team building exercise that builds communication, cooperation, and trust.
It's probably the case because, as the saying goes in on-line dating, "it's complicated." Who will pay? Who will decide what the event is? Is it elective or mandatory? On and on.
But these issues will get worked out, because they need to be. (Just like all partnership issues.)
Partners need to play nice together, trust each other, communicate, cooperate, try to make sure they understand their partner's objectives and how they intersect with one's own. They need to enjoy working together.
Fun team building outings are a great start.
Which of your partners would you like to create a better relationship with today?
Who's your "Office Mom"?
In honor of Mother's Day, we have a question.
Who's your "Office Mom"?
We don't mean this in a derogatory way. (Trust us - our Moms would kill us if we gave even a slightly negative connotation to the term "Mom.")
We mean: who's the one who takes care of things when everyone else goes on with their merry lives? Who's the one who pays attention to people's state of well being, who knows when someone needs cheering up - or straightening up?
That person is essential to have on every team.
They, like your "home" Mom, deserve a day of recognition, too.
So, whoever that person is... tell her or him, "Happy Mother's Day." And, "Thanks."
(And don't forget to tell Mom the same on Sunday.)
Don't be the office goat. Get the team outside.
Noticed anything out your window today?
Such as, that bright yellow ball up in that amazing field of light blue?
It's not a UFO. It's called "the sun."
You won't be blamed if you don't recognize it - it's been a while.
But you WILL be blamed if you don't take advantage of it. Blamed by your team, that is, for locking them up indoors on such an amazing string of gorgeous days we have coming up.
Don't be the office goat. Be a nice kid and get your team out in those bright green pastures and play.
Okay, we know. It's company time. So, do something together that will make them feel great about working for you. Some team building activities outside.
We have ideas... in case you need any.
Who's your office MVP? We're betting it's your Administrative Professional
Happy Administrative Professionals day!
Today is the day our often-unsung heroes, the glue who keeps the whole place together, get recognized for their unending patience, amazing quantity and quality of hard work, indescribable but invaluable skills, and good cheer.
We like to talk about team building here, but really there is no one like your Admin who keeps the team running like a well-oiled machine. They're the ones who know who's good at what, who really needs what, who's having a down day and needs cheering up, and when to steer clear of the boss.
And, let's face it. No matter how skilled and knowledgeable are your techs, legal beagles and subject matter experts, the Admin is your team's MVP.
So do something nice for your Admin today. Like, you know - a trophy (and a nice lunch!).
Who is your team's Number 42?
Today is Jackie Robinson Day. It's a testimonial not only to one man's incredible courage, perseverance and character, but to the essential contributions of an entire organization required to make his achievements possible.
Here's the history:
On this day in 1947, Jackie Robinson made his debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers, becoming the first African-American to play in a major league baseball game. He endured racist taunts, threats, even personal attacks in paving the way for the emergence of racial equality in professional sports.
But he did not the attacks deter him. He earned the National League rookie of the year honor in 1947. In 1949, he was selected as the NL's Most Valuable player of the Year and also won the batting title with a .342 average that same year. He retired in ____ and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.
Initially, Robinson's teammates were not all supportive. Some joined in the jeers and insults. But Branch Rickey, the president of the team, declared his unequivocal support and rallied the team around him. As his ability became apparent - particularly his ability to help the team win games - both teammates and opponents learned to accept him and the inevitability of change.
On this day in 1997, 50 years after his historic debut, Robinson's jersey number, 42, was retired throughout Major League Baseball, the first time any jersey number had been retired throughout one of the four major American sports leagues.
Since this day in 2007, players are allowed to wear 42 on their Jerseys on Jackie Robinson day to honor him.
Think about your organization. Who is your number 42?
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