Article (August-2018)

Articles

Collaboration for common purpose

Indrani Saha

Designation : -   Director-Human Resources

Organization : -  Diebold Nixdorf (India), Mumbai

01-Aug-2018

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How do you define teamwork in contemporary terms?
IS "Great things are business are never done by one person. They are done by a team of people". - Steve Jobs. That is in my mind the definition of team work - Great things. It is team who are formed across function to generate ideas for product development, to develop strategy, to deliver great results.
Organizations work in metrics today to cross pollinate with the aim to inspire and influence between diversity, to resolve issue, to achieve a common goal. Teamwork is and always has been the willingness of people to work together towards a common purpose. For this it is imperative that for any team to be effective, each team member is to have both the right attitude as well as the right behavior. A sense of unity, enthusiasm and accountability!
Team work in recent times is collaboration of any kind that results in :
  • Organizational Effectiveness - Teamwork plays a vital role in organizational effectiveness, which determines how effective a company can be in its many facets. These facets can include internal communication, communication with investors or shareholders, new product launches and customer service. Depending on the nature of one's business, you may depend on different teams working together to ensure that these facets are conducted successfully. We see this being the backbone of our company.
  • Shared Knowledge - Here I would like to add that we at Diebold Nixdorf look at our people and our organisation being ONE TEAM. The more employees and organization work together in a team toward a common company goal, the more likely that goal will be met successfully. With varying skill sets, strategies, education levels and past work experiences, a team of employees can bring more shared knowledge to the table in terms of innovation, ideas and solutions. This may result in better products, earnings and company operations.
  • Faster Results - With a team of employees that can benefit from shared knowledge, decision - making can become more streamlined, since each team decision will be more well - informed over one that is made by an individual who may lack a complete team's skill set. This can translate to faster solutions to problems that may arise within an organization, better response time when rolling out new products and alternating marketing strategies, depending on the economic and retail environment.
  • Common Purpose - The strength of many teams is the coming together for a common purpose. In a corporate atmosphere, this purpose is most often the success of the corporation, which drives employee morale and wages. This recognition of common purpose and the daily striving of working together for the greater good of the organization plays a vital role in the health, vitality and agility of a well - functioning company.
What do you think - Is team building/team work an art or a science? Do you (in your organization) have ever thought over the chemistry and mathematics of team work (please share with an anecdote)?
IS If you've ever had to put together a group of people to complete a work project, run a committee or even just order some pizzas, you've probably noticed that some teams just "gel" better than others.
Which may have led you to wonder : is building great teams an art or a science? The answer is yes. This is to say that putting a team together is both an art and a science.
First, what makes a great team? This is actually an entire scientific field. Research has shown that that high - performing teams share similar attributes - like energy, creativity, and mutual commitment-that can be observed, quantified and measured. Teams with these qualities are likely to be higher - performing than others.
But how do you ensure that your teams are high - energy, creative, and committed? MIT's Human Dynamics laboratory actually researched this by giving people little electronic badges that recorded team members' communications - who they talked to and how much, even their tone of voice and body language. Those are some pretty good insights just from observing communication styles. So how do you generate this energy and great communication on your own teams? The personality of individual members may play a role. Look for someone with a leadership - oriented personality who is also able to "dial it back" a little?-?someone who leads by drawing out ideas and thoughts from other team members, not someone who dominates.
Finding that person is a bit of an art, but you can get help from a scientifically - backed personality test that helps you learn about the strengths and weaknesses of all your team members?
This is to say that putting a team together is both an art and a science. You can better your odds by using proven research, but the ultimate result is a little unpredictable - just like an artist; who creatively and by gut knows just the right amount of colour, hue, tone, etc.
What does it really mean to be a team player, in times when virtual teams and robots are taking over the workplace where technology neutralizes the chemistry of teamwork?
IS With exactly this question in mind, we at Diebold Nixdorf, have one of our core values as "COLLABORATION"!
In today's world where we have multi-national companies people work across globe. More and more offices are disappearing, employees work from home and are connected via varied technologies. Video conferencing, telepresence, zoom and WebEx are extensively used and literally a virtual working world is created. In order to achieve efficiency in the virtual world, it is very important to plan and design, have good virtual facilitation, technology and tools and most important cultural awareness as people log in from different countries and form part of different teams.
As we move ahead, with times, more and more such virtual team works will increase. Hence we need to respect the time zones; we need to give time to familiarize. Share best practices. Form buddies, to work together on certain task. Show gratitude.
With the rapid advances in computer and Internet technology, online virtual activities have become increasingly popular. People no longer only use text - based communication tools such as emails or instant messengers. They often engage in teamwork with others in highly immersive virtual worlds. For example, many 3D online games allow multiple players to work in teams.
Meanwhile, collaborative activities are common and critical in the real world. As individuals bring different set of knowledge and skills, group collaboration allows a team to tackle problems more complex than what individuals can do alone. Studies have found that groups perform better in problem - solving and idea generation than individuals in terms of time taken, the number of problems solved, and the number of solutions generated. Collaboration has been considered as an important factor in most organizations. Many businesses try to enhance their employees' collaboration through workshops and training. A recent survey shows that Fortune 500 companies intensively use group collaboration in their projects as it gives them an edge in the global market. And team work in any age is all about collaboration.