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.