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Team Work Blue Paper

Team Work Blue Paper

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Published by 4imprint
Teamwork matters. Just ask researchers Francis Crick and James Watson. In 1953, the duo boldly announced they had “found the secret of life.” Crick and Watson, along with the assistance of a few other scientists, had discovered DNA.
Teamwork matters. Just ask researchers Francis Crick and James Watson. In 1953, the duo boldly announced they had “found the secret of life.” Crick and Watson, along with the assistance of a few other scientists, had discovered DNA.

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Published by: 4imprint on Jul 14, 2010
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09/12/2010

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Teamwork Matters
 
© 2008 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved
Teamwork Matters
Teamwork matters. Just ask researchers Francis Crick and JamesWatson. In 1953, the duo boldly announced they had “found thesecret of life.” Crick and Watson, along with the assistance of afew other scientists, had discovered DNA.Their chief competitor was Linus Pauling, a scientist whoworked alone. Pauling did come close to an answer, butultimately it was the team of researchers that made thediscovery. Crick and Watson’s scientific breakthrough earnedthem a Nobel Prize and infinite accolades.Watson readily recognized the value in having a collaborator.“… we had each other,” he said. “It helps to have someone elseto take over the thinking when you get frustrated.”
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When people collaborate, problems get solved faster. Crick and Watson knewit, and today new researchers are confirming it. In March 2008, researchers fromthe Stanford Business School revealed a study of productivity in steel mini-mills.Researchers found that yield was higher in mills that used problem-solving teamsto overcome a variety of hurdles such as preventing material jams and reducingequipment failure.“You need a group of experts coming together to solve a complex problem,”said Kathryn Shaw, the Ernest C. Arbuckle Professor of Economics at the StanfordGraduate School of Business, one of the study’s authors. “You’re bringing peopletogether because no one person can solve theproblem as well as the group.”Simply convening a team however, is no predicatorfor success. The members must work together. Forthe fortunate, cooperation is inherent. For others,it must be taught.Thom Cody is a consultant and co-owner of Pathmakers, an organizational-development firm based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. In more than 20 years ofconsulting, he has seen several companies fail to develop true teams.“If there is one thing I’ve seen over the years, companies make the mistake of
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Leslie Palich & Linda Livingston. “Improving Research Performance.” Graziadio Business Report, PepperdineUniversity. gbr.pepperdine.edu/032/teamwork.html#note5. Accessed May 19, 2008.
 
© 2008 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved
putting people in the same area and calling them a team,” he said.That’s where Cody and other facilitators come in. Research shows (see TeambuldingActivities below) that teambuilding activities do have a measurable impact on a group’sperformance. Groups CAN be taught to work together.
Teambuilding can …
Help people get to know each otherIncrease trustIncrease communicationImprove problem-solving and decision-making skillsBuild a greater sense of camaraderieFoster appreciation for diverse strengthsFacilitate change and acceptanceIncrease morale
Teambuilding alone cannot …
Silence a chronic complainerChange inefficient business practicesImprove an ineffectual leaderIf your company or department is experiencing challenges, teambuilding is a solidfirst step to improvement. Combine team activities with strategic analysis, leadershiptraining or process improvements to make a lasting difference.If your company/department is strong, but you want to be better, teambuilding is aneffective way to re-energize and reconnect your staff. Give their interpersonal skills aboost, and team achievement will grow.
Building team – step by step
Step 1: Examine leadership
Study leadership’s vision for the company. Does a clearvision exist? Has it been communicated to the team? Hasleadership set any standards to which people aren’t beingheld accountable?For example, Festival Foods is a Wisconsin-based grocery chain in which employees areschooled in the art of customer service. Get less than 10 floor tiles from a Festival

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