2013 SRCUS (34th yr)
It has been fun and an honor to be on the faculty of SRCUS each year since 1981.
One day in 1980 I received a phone call from Dr. Hugh Watson from the Terry School of Business asking:
“I understand you do workshops on Creative Thinking. Would you do one for the 1981 SRCUS Program.”
After great deliberation I said yes.
I doubt I even waited the length of a breath before I said yes.
Since then every Summer I have been serving on the annual SRCUS Faculty at the UGA Continuing Education Center doing 1 to 5 sessions on Leadership, Communication, Presentation Skills, Teawork, Marketing, Creative Thinking and Problem Solving and Generally my FIRST YEAR Course has been titled:
Understand Yourself Better in Order to Work More Productively with Others
TEAM BUILDING AT WORK – “Why Do We Keep Missing the Hoop?”
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Lessons/Key Learning Points from the session.
People seldom have experience working in teams and need to be taught and to learn how.
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Not all people naturally work well in teams and need to learn how.
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Some people are best to work in teams that are ad hoc with short term commitment and goals.
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Some people work best in groups (ongoing) that act like teams. Simply they work best with others not alone.
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EVALUATING A TEAM AND ITS EFFORTS/WORK
There are many ways to evaluate the effectiveness, efficiency and productivity or success of a team in any workplace. Here is a lagniappe (12+) for you to focus on
Clarity of Goals – the team and team leader need to develop these and work with them
Commitment to Goals – team members and leaders need to do this, these are difficult to very difficult at times and take work
Focus on Tasks - when working as a team we need to remove ALL distractions and distractors so that we can truly focus on the team’s task(s).
Clear Visions - this sounds like it comes from the clouds sometimes but without a VISION, one that is truly clear tasks, goals, objectives or plans can not be successfully completed.
Communication - this word is thrown around but is seldom accomplished easily without constant effort and work. Each week team members and team leaders need to evalute how well they are communicating: verbal, written, visually, non-verbally. Truly Effectively Communicating takes a great deal of effort and work. First accepting that we all sometimes mis-communicate or mis-understand is important in order to improve our communications.
Skilled Members - as team leaders, managers, supervisors, officers in a credit union we truly need to continuously gather information about what skills people truly have and what skills we need to be training for daily, weekly, monthly, annually.
Changeable Leaders – Highly Successful Teams rarely are lead by only the assigned leader or the person with the title of leader. Each situation, each task, each problem may require a different member, with different experiences, with different perspectives in order to LEAD their teams to success and completion.
Focused Efforts – we say this often we take it lightly. Only through precise, consistent, determined focused efforts will be complete task, goals, objectives, missions.
Willingness to Challenge Each Other - Group members seldom for various reasons will ot challenge other members. This leads to hidden conflicts, unresolved conflicts, mis-communication, and often either mediocre results or disaster. Teams and team members need to be willing to Challenge Each Other to make sure they are in sinct and working together for the same reasons on the same project.
Willingness to Learn – “The only thing that is constant is change.” Cato, a philosopher said that over 2200 years ago. Today change is happening geometrically, rapidly. We all need to be continually learning.
Planning - the typical American by nature is not a planner: “Ready, Fire, Aim!” We shoot before we truly plan or aim. We need to remind each other to take time to plan before acting or reacting. Instead of REACTING rearrange the letters into the word and instead be CREATING with plans and be flexible with them as needed.
Open to Change – If you continue to do things the way you have always done them and expect to obtain the same results they should put you away. Things can change at any moment and we need to be prepared to deal with any potential change, known and unknown.
Useful Power & Authority – as a manager always give your teams both Power & Authority, while also accepting that if something goes wrong that you will take the blame for it and you will guide your team towards an improved solution or resolution. Restricting power and authority only weakens the potential of a team.
Recommended books about Leading & Team Building
One Minute Manager
One Minute Manager Meets the Team Leader
both by Ken Blanchard
Situational Leadership by Paul Hersey
The Fred Factor: How Passion in Your Work and Life Can Turn the Ordinary into the Extraordinary
You Don’t Need a Title to Be a Leader: How Anyone, Anywhere, Can Make a Positive Difference
by Mark Sanborn
How to Read a Person like a book
by Gerard Nierenberg
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You can see a brochure for the 2013 SRCUS by clicking here.
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PHOTOS from 2012 SRCUS of Class of 2012, Class of 2013 and Class of 2014.
Robert Alan Black, Ph.D., CSP, DLA * Creative Thinking Consultant * Creative Thinking Speaker * Creative Thinking Workshops