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Friday, April 7, 2017

Lean Quote: The Power of Teamwork

On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.

"Alone, we can do so little; together we can do so much." — Helen Keller

We all have roles in our organizations but it is the power of teamwork that makes our endeavors successful. It takes everyone working together on a common goal to be successful in Lean.

A team of people can achieve far more than the sum of the total of the individuals skills alone. In business teams can achieve:

     They can generate a wider range of ideas and innovation than individuals;
     They are able to motivate themselves;
     They can bounce ideas off each team member;
     They often take more risks than individuals;
     They have a range of personalities such as workers, thinkers, leaders who contribute the right  balance of skills necessary to achieve high performance;
     They support each other and are not just task-orientated;
     They can be a support mechanism which provide mentoring and allow others to grow in self- confidence.

Teamwork is important to the success of an organization, but as the saying goes: “it’s like getting rich or falling in love, you cannot simply will it to happen.” Teamwork is a practice. Teamwork is an outcome. And teamwork leverages the individual skills of every team member. 

Groups don’t just become teams because we use that name and it is not about teamwork. Teams act as a collective unit with shared commitment and not a band of individual contributors. Just like in Lean the whole, or in this case, the team is greater than the sum of the individual parts. Teams often are more difficult to form because it takes time for members to learn to work together. Management must support and encourage the use of teams in their organization.

Collaboration and team work create an environment that allows the collective knowledge, resources and skills of each team member to flourish. When people work together they can complete tasks faster by dividing the work to people of different abilities and knowledge. Teamwork can lead to better decisions, products, or services.

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1 comment:

  1. Don't forget to reward the teams collective actions, decisions and outcomes. Learn to develop the teams to their fullest potential with investments in human capital. The power of the team is a key force in driving the organization to higher levels so it is important to be a good team member enabler collaborator for improvement and growth.