We can work it out: On working in a team and interdependency

Image via http://guilletek.com

Imagine a boat on the river Elbe near Hamburg with forty people on there in 60’s/Beatles outfits, food, music, drinks and the sun still touching the water.  I know I had a great time. I suppose my K&S colleagues had a great time too.  For the boat crew it was probably not the first 60’s/Beatles themed party. The Beatles honed their performance skills and widened their reputation in Hamburg on different occasions from august 1960 until december 1962 leading to their first recording.

Lennon later said, “I might have been born in Liverpool – but I grew up in Hamburg”.

The boat-party was part of our yearly working days, this year organized by our German colleagues in their home-town. Returning home from the working days I really felt energized by the get-together and ready to kick-off the second part of the year. It led me to realizing how important my colleagues are for me, how much they enable me to do a good job.  And how important it is to feel like being part of a team.

Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band

Photo by Joep!

Earlier this year I attended the pooll conference 2014 on learning and development in and as a team.  Looking back on that conference what I most remembered were the characteristics of a team.

The first keynote speaker (Selma van der Haar) started her keynote with this topic and during the first workshop with Prof. Dr. Filip Dochy a lot of problems in teams were brought back to being an actual team or just a group of people.

According to Cohen and Bailey (1997) a team is:

  • a group of people
  • with a specific role or function
  • with a shared responsibility for the outcome
  • where there is interdependency
  • and dynamics

Especially the notion of interdependency is of major importance and often hard to realize.

As long as the members of a group don’t rely/depend upon one another to be able to move forward, it’s going to be hard to actually create team spirit.

Throughout my career I’ve been part of different teams and I always had to work together with others to achieve results according to the management.  But it never felt like being dependent on a part of the team and more like “every man for himself” when the going got tough.

And that is pretty different right now.  Now there is interdependency.  We have to write together, we have to deliver together and build up a reputation together.   For me interdependency is the key aspect of feeling like you’re part of a team.  And it really is a great feeling being part of a team!

In honor of the working days theme I tried to capture it in a visual with a little help of my friends, The Beatles.

Team Beatles JPEG v 2.0 01042017

Drawing by Joep!

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