Here I will briefly leave quotes, reflections and experiences that I find useful to share, about work teams in the company context, from my personal point of view.
01/12/2018. Monthly quote
"The true profession of man is to find the way to himself." Herman Hesse.
15/11/2018. Post #4 - The human factor in YOUR team.
In the last month I have had the opportunity to meet and talk with people who work in companies in the Valencian Community, from very varied sectors. When explaining my work as a team engineer, some say that "this kind of thing is only done by large companies" or that "they are a team too small for this". To which I usually respond, are not all the teams formed by people?
It is true that, as a team / company grows, the exercises for the generation of conversations become more necessary, because it is easier for daily conversations to take place among all the members of the team if it is two people, than if it is of 10, 15 or 20 people.
Regardless of the size of the team, and despite how much we like talking, there are conversations that rarely emerge naturally in the company, and that have to do with what the team members feel in terms of motivation, satisfaction or discomfort in the functions or in the roles they play in the team, hidden under a climate of apparent normality.
But, why try to talk about this?
For example, knowing the 'why' of our actions gives meaning to our daily work. This is one of the keys to motivation: no one can be passionate about something whose meaning is unknown. On the other hand, sharing information about the level of energy available in the team is also vital for motivation: no matter how much you are passionate about something, if there is another thing that absorbs all your energy, you can not develop your passion. This type of conversations makes visible the obstacles that steal energy, such as an improvable relationship between some members of the team, the presence of toxins in communication or simply, the lack of connection with the purpose of the work. Making the obstacles visible allows to work on how to overcome them. And this is something that anyone can do, at any team.
For example: this month I developed a workshop in the Alumni Association of the Polytechnic University of Valencia (see images below), in which attendees could experiment and learn basic tools for analysis and work about the available energy and the balance of the roles in a team, based on the tejeRedes methodology, which they are applying from now on in their work teams.
And you, would you want to know tools to make visible the gears of a work team, and therefore, be able to improve its operation? Contact me for a Powerful Meeting!
10/15/2018. Post # 3 - The human factor of any project
We are in October, taking full advantage of the renewed energy after the holidays to undertake new projects, both personally and in our work teams. We establish objectives, assign deadlines, define intermediate milestones, design responsible people to the tasks and we give way to the execution of the project, during which we monitor these tasks, milestones and deadlines.
So far everything is ideal, but in practice, as the execution of the project begins, there are differences between the planned and the actually executed. In part, this may be due to characteristics of the project environment that are not in our hands, such as unforeseen events that cause delays or changing characteristics in the target market.
And what other things ARE in our hands?
For example, what I call the 'human factor' of the project, which is the state of the people in charge of executing it; and which is almost always taken for granted. That is, it is expected that all people are motivated, aligned towards the achievement of the objective and maintain a healthy and productive work environment, communication and relationships, before and during the execution of the project. Without dedicating attention, effort or resources to it.
Literally, this is like NOT doing any marketing or sales plan, and expecting a product to "sell itself", without commercial effort.
It would not occur to you, would it?
Working on the human factor means, for example, that in the definition, planning and monitoring meetings of the project, aspects such as the following ones are discussed:
- What is the purpose of the execution of the project, both for the team and for the company.
- How motivating is the project for the work team.
- What obstacles the team sees in their way to achieve the milestones of the project.
- What resources does the team need to overcome these obstacles? Do they feel prepared and supported by the company and colleagues?
The simple fact of articulating conversations around these aspects generates confidence, empathy and support, and builds healthy communication and relationships in the team, which enable it to overcome any obstacles that could naturally arise in the execution of any project.
But are all the teams ready to have this kind of conversations? The answer is absolutely YES. And how is it done? I will give some clues in the following posts.
Please send your comments to email@example.com.
01/10/2018. Monthly quote
"Most organizations are inert and can not see beyond their "inertia" because they do not see how all their parts are interconnected - how they participate in a single system.." (Translated)
Consulting mastery, Keith Merron
01/09/2018. Monthly quote
"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results." Attributed to Albert Einstein, although it can be a misattribution.
14/08/2018. Post #2 - Connected team
The Teamfullness philosophy begins with the step "stay tuned to yourself". In the last 3 years of my life, creating a space to connect with my needs and dreams led me to a profound change. This space allowed me to orient my actions towards goals that make me me feel fulfilled and satisfied, functioning in a more efficient and effective way both personally and professionally.
These spaces of connection and reflection, applied to a team, have an even greater power, because everything is intensified when counting on the energy of many people Nevertheless,
How much attention do we dedicate to knowing and designing how we want to function and what goals do we want to achieve as a team?
I agree that it is difficult to take time out on a day-to-day basis to do this. The same difficulty I had when applying it on a personal level. But I did not need great efforts, nor large investments of time or money. Little by little, I integrated it organically as something everyday, and seeing the results, I would not dare to stop "sharpening the saw", according to the metaphor used by Stephen Covey in his book 'The 7 habits of highly effective people'.
But what does "sharpen the saw" in a team mean?
From the Teamfulness point of view, it means having a space for the entire team to meet -including the leaders- and review their objectives, their status, their needs ... And to talk about and work on everything that helps the team to design their actions and to create and maintain a healthy work environment, guaranteeing efficient and effective team functioning.
In my next posts I will develop the essential elements for these spaces of connection and reflection.
If you feel like it, send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
04/08/2018. Monthly quote
“Seeking greatness in the profession, the greatest discovery of my generation is that a man can alter his life simply by altering his mental attitude." (Translation)
15/07/2018 Inaugural post - The engineering metaphor of work teams
Today I invite you to reflect on the word "team".
My concept of equipment resembles a machine, such as a combustion engine. Each piece of the engine has its own job within a common purpose, the work of none of them makes sense without the work of the others, and all pieces must be well geared, synchronized and greased so that the engine works well and gives its maximum performance. However, in this metaphor the distribution belts, the lubricant and the synchrony of the pieces come to be aspects such as commitment, trust and communication.
You may think that a person is much more complex than a mechanical piece. I do not discuss it, but where I direct the reflection today is to how we work together: the interaction between us in a work team context, rather than how we function as individuals.
Commonly I have seen that work teams in the companies share department, tasks or office, regardless of whether they have any common goal or objective, of whether they feel part of something shared or even whether or not they talk to each other.
How much attention do we dedicate to reviewing the state of our work team? And how much effort do we invest in create and sustain commitment, trust and communication? In many cases, this is not done until a serious "failure" occurs, equivalent to when the engine stops working. However, how many "serious failures" could we avoid doing a good "maintenance" of this engine?
And you, are you part of a well-oiled and synchronized engine?
In my next posts I reflect on aspects related to the fuel that moves the engine, equivalent in my engineering simile to the motivation that moves teams, .... and other current issues that give me an opportunity to reflect.
If you feel like it, send your comments to email@example.com.
03/07/2018. Monthly quote
“Building a better collective brain isn’t just about involving more people. It can also be about developing the creative skills of people who become involved.(...) You have to increase (and improve) connections between people to build a bigger (better) brain.(...) Purpose pulls people together..“
Dr. Max McKeown , The innovation book