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Teamwork at its best

Michael Jordan once said, "Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships." I couldn’t agree more. I’m a firm believer that the success of a business is directly related to the talented individuals that comprise the work force.  Their expertise and efforts are what enable a company to thrive. And while staff members bring various skill sets and qualities to the table, it’s the formation of internal teams that yields ultimate results and leads to increased productivity among employees.

I’ve been accustomed to working in team environments dating back to grade school projects and high school sports.  We do that same at my company, Red Door Interactive, where our employees will find themselves working on multiple account teams with different individuals in a collaborative setting. Though many of our people have specific job functions and skill sets, we firmly believe that they must operate in concert with others to ensure that we meet – if not exceed – our customers’ expectations. Such a focus is healthy and beneficial for all concerned. Here are five reasons why that’s so:

1) Added solutions – The saying, "Two brains are better than one" couldn’t be more accurate in a work environment. When employees are tasked with brainstorming ideas to solve a problem or devise a strategy plan, the input from various individuals is extremely beneficial and produces a longer list of options.

2) Increased synergy – When one employee gets excited about working on a project, other team members tend to feed off of that energy, which then leads to increased productivity. If individuals can work together and merge their technical and organizational skills, the benefits for those involved are both increased synergy and a greater opportunity to achieve client satisfaction.  

3) More friendly competition
– This is actually a good thing for a company to foster, as it challenges people to pursue excellence instead of complacency. Incorporating friendly challenges will raise  productivity while also encouraging employees to achieve higher quality of work on time. Competitions in the work place motivate staff members and provide an opportunity for peers to acknowledge their contributions.

4) Greater understanding
– Forming teams made up of employees that perform different job functions allows staff to better understand how their colleagues contribute. Combining different skills sets and allowing staff members to work together to complete a client project that will produce better outcomes and allow  individuals to recognize and appreciate what each person brings to the table.

5) Enhanced relationships
– By working together, employees have the opportunity to develop meaningful relationships with one another. Constant communication and support tends to produce a special camaraderie. Forming cohesive groups will not only help the team along the way, but it will hopefully enhance the relationships of those in the group.  

While it’s imperative to possess talented individuals that can work independently, it’s the accumulation of talent that produces great results.  The praise that our company receives is a direct result of our outstanding teams and their ability to work together to achieve the overall goal; producing excellent results and delivering value to our clients.  

About the author: Reid Carr is president of Red Door Interactive, an Internet Presence Management firm with offices in San Diego and Denver that helps organizations profit from their Web initiatives. Clients include Garden Fresh Restaurant Corp, Petco, Rubio’s Fresh Mexican Grill and Cricket Communications. Connect with him at

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  • Ulrich Nettesheim

    I enjoyed seeing Reid Carr's list of teamwork at its best. It also reminded me of two key assumptions he probably made that are worth calling out. While many of us probably take those assumptions for granted much of the time, we are reminded that they are important assumptions when the potential assembly bonus does not occur. Assumption #1 - team members have a sufficient degree of self-mastery that enables them to work well with others, particularly in situations of adversity and ambiguity. If that capability is not resident within the team, then what you were expecting to be synergistic may look more like that TV commercial where the audience gets actively involved on the court during a tennis match. There is a lot of activity, but its not a tennis match anymore. Assumption #2. The leaders create culture where the resources of the organization support team's in forming and performing. Reid clearly went to a far better grade school than I did. The "team" projects I remember were anything but great models of effective relationships and synergy. "Lord of the Flies" flash-backs was more like it for me. And if you could watch the highlight films of many of the executive teams I have worked with over the years, then you would quickly recognize that Assumption #2 is often dubious. Hope is not a strategy someone once said. And the formation and supporting of teams certainly needs active support at various levels.

    Teams can indeed achieve great things as MJ said, provided the members of the team are well equipped to do so. Thanks for the good list Reid!

    Ulrich Nettesheim
    Passages Consulting