Extraordinary Team Blog

There is an “I” in “TEAM”

Posted by Kristin Arnold on August 23, 2011

Have you ever been handed a task and just know that you needed to brainstorm with someone?

Yes, there are some things that call for group participation.  In my case, this week, I was asked to come up with a list of questions.  (I won’t bore you with the details).  I could have sat down and come up with the list on my own, but I instinctively knew that the quality of my response would be better if I collaborated with someone else. Someone else I trusted and respected.

So I called a meeting with my husband we brainstormed the questions.  (Just kidding!  You think I’m that weird that we call “meetings” at our house? No, I waited a few days until I knew that we would have some time to devote to this: We were trapped in a car for two hours on our way to Halifax.)

He drove.  I wrote.  We brainstormed.  Fun, fun!  However, the story doesn’t end there.

Someone (that would be me) had to take the notes and actually sit down at the computer and write the questions.  So while I adore the concept of teamwork, there really is an “I” in “team”.  Ultimately, the work that teams do together has to get to an actionable form – and that comes at the individual level.  Whether it is to write the questions, research an issue, pull the lever – whatever needs to be done – an individual is responsible to do it.  Whatever that “it” is.

So when you call a team, make sure you clarify who is going to do what – and by when at the end?  If not, you have just had a great conversation, but there will be no forward motion.