Teamwork- how many times has that word required in my lifetime? Many! It's not a new word or concept; individuals have been picking teams from red rover to baseball for years. Group projects in an education environment are also not a new concept. I will be the first to admit I hated group work in school; teachers assigned teams and there was always a weak link. However, the word team seems to have reached an elevated status in the workplace. In the modern office environment teamwork is often defined as 2 or more people tasked with a common goal; brainstorming ideas. By collaborating on the shared task, solutions are provided from collective input from the team. Collaboration is one of our core words, because it's a key ingredient to campaign success.
My oldest son played football in college. He once stated that his team was only as strong as the weakest link. He'd seen that by assisting the player he liked the least, a glory hog, the ball advanced. Helping him be properly positioned on a play, created the potential for success in the moment and offered then future opportunities to score.
In order for a team to be effective collaborating there must be a blend of talents and perspectives, as well as trust and respect among the team members. If individuals don't feel valued for their contribution, then why contribute? Dominant personalities will always make sure their input is heard, while more introverted members of the team may need to be asked to share.
When your office has only 4 people, the ship either rows together or it sinks together. One of the many things Keith and I enjoy about owning our own business is the ability to pivot anytime. If a process needs tweaking, there is no need for numerous meetings or memos- we talk as a group and implement a new strategy.
While each member of our team has titled roles and individual space to work, picking up the client's needs along the processing journey is a little like successfully passing the baton in a relay. The more we know the timing and rhythm of our teammate, the better equipped we are to execute a task once it's handed off in the process. We all have our strengths and weakness as individuals. Working together effectively as a team requires we pick up or slow down our pace to make sure we have smooth transitions. A smooth hand-off also requires repetition and communication; a rhythm that develops over time.
Communication is key
Establishing where are we in the process? What do we need to know before interacting with our client? Do we have the details needed for a quote or the right files mock up the order? Have we appropriately shared the options and assessed the timeline for an upcoming campaign? Do we know what's critical from the supplier before placing an order? When should we check on the status of an order in the production process?
Who's our internal crew?
Me- I am usually your initial face to the business. I love generating new ideas and considering ALL the options; after-all there is talking and creativity involved. If I even look at technology, it malfunctions; it's a gift. By the way, I love fried chicken, mashed potatoes and biscuits.
Keith- understands safety like no one else on the team, he takes care of all of the non- glamorous sides of the business which are critical tasks, including: special deliveries, trash patrol, accounting and compliance. He usually partners with Miranda to try to figure out what I've done to my computer! He loves Mediterranean food.
Miranda- hates fried chicken and bacon, but loves Taco Bell and ice cream! Her fingers are super fast on a computer; whether a search, a quote or creating art. She is always game for a work-walk and she is great with math; lucky for me. Sara- tends to like citrus flavors, loves plants and nature- both animals and the great outdoors. She's the quieter one of our bunch at work. She's always on time and is the queen of spreadsheets and our web stores- a master with all those fine details.
Arien- an avid coffee drinker, loves organization, a pun, trivia night and her fur babies. In fact, if you look up the definition of a Labrador Retriever, you might find her photo. Her friendly, outgoing and ready to try something new spirit makes a great fit for our ever changing task list!
Our team rows together! We share ideas, we learn from one another, we support each other and our teamwork helps our clients receive the best result.