“The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.” (Phil Jackson)
In early 2009, Barrel O’ Monkeyz first reared its head in the digital jungle. Envisioned as a virtual agency, my dream was to use technology to bring together marketing, technical, web design, graphic design, and digital assets to deliver top-notch services for clients regardless of geography (theirs or ours).
Now, as I find myself past the halfway mark of 2015, the goal of providing excellent service and delivering measurable results remains, but the nature of my team—at least how I pictured it in the early going—continues to evolve.
Not only have we grown from a team of one (yours truly) to a team of many, we’ve also morphed from a loosely connected virtual group into one where the majority of members meet face-to-face at least once a week, share office space, the same time zone, and even breathe the same air.
Where virtual teams often face the challenges of time management, work discipline, accountability, effective communications, and being able to work/create in isolation, my more “traditional” team now benefits from the cohesiveness inherent to physical proximity and having ready access to their team leader (me again) for guidance, mentoring, and coaching . . . which translates into greater responsiveness and service delivery for clients.
What’s the lesson learned for this King Monkey?
It’s simple really: get the right people together—the right team, whether it’s a traditional team, virtual team, or a combination of both like we enjoy—and you can achieve great things for your organization, for clients, and even for the individuals on your team who benefit from sharing ideas and learning from one another.
In the last year-plus, I’ve had the pleasure of watching my team gel in many ways, even as we’ve introduced new faces, new talents, and new challenges. We’ve grown as people, we’ve introduced new processes, and as a result, our “place” in the digital media and marketing space has changed (for the better). We are now more able than ever to grow new business, support current clients, and build for the future.
- PEOPLE—On the people front, from technical and creative to operations and marketing, we’ve been able to extend the Monkeyz team to boost core competencies as needed while helping grow individual skills through mentoring and coaching. Each team member, whether physical or virtual, brings a unique talent to the BOM team, allowing us to meet a broad spectrum of client needs as-needed, when needed. (Does your team make the grade? Read my blog Making the A-List to find out.)
- PROCESSES—As the team has grown, so too has our need to formalize processes that enhance our ability to communicate well and to have mechanisms in place for easy updates and project tracking. Overall, these processes make us a more efficient, well-oiled Monkeyz machine! (Read more about how “processes” can help your business with my blog The Customer Knows Best, But Do You Know Your Customer?)
- PLACE—The goal of any business is to succeed. Team building is no different. Even the lowliest of sports teams enters each season with dreams of winning. All teams derive their strength—their ability to succeed—from the collective talents of individual members and leadership. The “place” the Barrel O’ Monkeyz team wants to occupy is the gold medal platform, the winner’s circle, the top of the jungle canopy . . . and it’s the strength of our team that gets us there. (For more on the “place” companies occupy in the hearts and minds of consumers, read my previous blog, Product Life Cycle Management: Are We Reaching the Saturation Point?)
Whether you are a large organization, small business, or virtual agency, your workforce consists of individuals and teams—each with something to offer.
Teamwork at its Best – Penguin Style!
How do your teams perform? What are you doing on a daily basis to grow the talent and the efficacy of your teams?
Teamwork centered around common goals and a common vision is the key to your success and your ability to deliver consistently for your clients and customers. Clearly, the old Japanese proverb, popularized by Ken Blanchard, holds true—“None of us is as smart as (or as talented as) all of us.”
“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” (Henry Ford)