Is your team a da Vinci team? One of my favorite colleagues is a funny and smart process engineer named Alireza. You know the type.... If there were something higher than a Six Sigma black belt (a platinum belt with bling, perhaps?), he probably would easily achieve it. One day, I lamented to Alireza that I wished I had more his focus, organization, and straight-forward strategic thinking. He replied by encouraging me that I have gifts that he doesn't and that he admired my creativity, communication skills, and ability to connect with just about anyone. But I continued my "woe is me" moment by saying, "But I want to be more naturally focused as well. I want your strengths and mine!" Alireza's reply to this was, "If you had all the 'giftings', you would be da Vinci!" (He and I are both fans of good old "Leo"). The conversation not only made me feel a bit better about myself, but it helped me better understand the importance of teams. It truly takes all of our different "wirings" and skill sets to accomplish most things worth accomplishing. The goal of an effective team shouldn't be to clone each other. Rather, we should be constantly striving to bring out each other's skills and gifts in order to bring the needed balance and momentum to achieve our goals. Would you say you are part of a da Vinci team? If not, what steps are needed to get there? Just a few thoughts to "chew on" over the weekend!
I shared this on LinkedIn, but will share again here because this principle applies to so much more than our careers. We can simply accomplish so much more together.
Often times, solutions thought up in a vacuum really don’t make a difference anywhere. However, when you bring together many minds and perspectives with the like goal of finding real world solutions, the possibilities are ENDLESS…. Because collaboration matters and teamwork is EVERYTHING!
When we learn to keep everything we do simple, focused, and intentional – we are in the company of the some of the best and most brilliant thinkers and achievers in all history. Of course, because President Lincoln was leap years ahead of his time in so many ways… it is not surprising that he ran his campaigns and his country in a highly efficient manner. Lincoln implemented a highly productive team approach to provide maximum value for every U.S. Citizen long before business and industry defined Lean and other methodologies.
In my industry, Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety, there are many programs that teach team training. And that’s a good thing. In this and many other industries such as air transportation and manufacturing, the high reliability produced by great teamwork does much more than create successful popular businesses. It can literally save lives.
My idea of a high functioning team is one in which miscommunication rarely occurs and when it does it is quickly clarified so all members are working from the “same playbook” and “dancing to the same beat” once again. This correlates well with the research coming out of the Patient Safety and Healthcare Quality arenas which aggregate data from adverse patient care incidents across the country. The most commonly identified causitive factor of adverse events in healthcare is breakdown in communication, a.k.a poor teamwork.
However, I sometimes wonder if we spend too much time teaching complicated methodologies on what it takes to be a winning team. I saw this simple acronym come across my LinkedIn feed today (unsure of original source of the quote) that summed up great teams in one little square on my cell phone screen.