Teamwork is how things get done. When the team works well together, has well- defined common goals where everyone contributes and communication is both expansive and on cue, there will be successes. Teams and projects are complex with characteristics extending far past a 600 word post. The elements of teamwork could take days and pages to develop, but here’s one analogy – The Ingredients of Fine Teams is like baking a Texas Sheet Cake using an award-winning recipe and premium products. Yesterday’s post gave you the recipe. Today I tell you why.
Flour – This is the team itself, their reason for existing. Maybe it’s a group of individuals who are together for this one project. The reason this team exists is the flour. Flour is the main ingredient in most baking. Without it there is no substance, no texture, and no solid foundation.
Water – Water represents the pool of talent, creativity, flexibility, and acceptance of diversity among team members. Water is colorless and nondescript on its own, but critical to the nature of the team.
Cocoa – Think of cocoa as the specifications that determine the goals for this team. Specifications are the guidelines and rules for what the team works on together and is like a roadmap everyone can follow, even while working separately on their individual tasks.
Sugar – Enthusiasm in large doses. Remember Mary Poppins and her song about a spoonful of sugar that makes the medicine go down? Of course you do. Sugar is a crystalline substance that sparkles, especially when dumped in ample quantity into the dark ingredients. Teams get weary, they get bored, their enthusiasm wanes. Teams need sugar, the enthusiasm factor.
Sour cream – Must we have this? Sour cream represents the negative, logical, analytical that’s put on your team to give you grief. No! Believe me that’s not it. Sour cream, when infused, and integrated into the right recipes, stabilizes and even boosts the quality from mediocre to premium just by being there. Do you have sour cream on your team? How are they being valued and used productively?
Soda – Attitude – When soda is combined with moisture and ingredients like sour cream and chocolate, the result produces bubbles of carbon dioxide that expand when heated in the oven. If not used immediately after the soda and other ingredients mingle, the reaction fizzles and the product falls flat. We need positive, effervescent attitudes. We need them often and we need them now.
Salt – Marketing – Fact! Every project, every idea, every team, and every member is being marketed in some way. Salt is the mainstay of flavor in nearly every recipe. Too much salt and the end result is ghastly. It’s bitter, unappealing, and inedible. But used with the right dimensions, within tolerance, the results are appealing, tasteful and have a gravitational pull.
Butter – Education – This is where the results are sustaining. Butter is most commonly found in its solidified form. It’s in a block, easily recognizable and useful. But butter can also be softened, pliable, and spread thinly across a broad area and be even more effective. Education can be capsulized or it can proliferate outside its normal boundaries while maintaining its purpose and meeting the needs of the team and the enterprise.
The Ingredients of Fine Teams. Bake these thoughts well as you prepare for your next team meeting and try to recognize the strengths and talents each member has so they can be used to make your next project a masterpiece.