January 10, 2007

Current Experience of TeamWork


It all starts from the first day of Financial Accounting and Control System model. Basically, this model is mainly delivered by a very good simulation game. Each group has five members, working together like a company top-management. Set the objectives for the end of year three and work toward it. Involve quick decision making, applying accounting knowledge, connect theory to reality and teamwork – cooperation.

At the beginning, I was planning to be the purchase manager. Because I know I am so bad at trading and make deal, really want to practice it. But after the introduction, it seems that’s not the kind of thing we do in this game. And also Tim asks us to pick some non-expert area in this game, for the purpose of practice and learn from mistake. So, I nominate myself as the commercial manager of the business.

Apart from the purpose to test my knowledge and learn on this role, I also want to know what the most important thing in the business is, from the view of a commercial manager. Because I know, in real-life, people normally treat their area of expertise as the most important thing to business/life. (I.e. consider the example of the kind of decisions made by a CEO who promoted from a financial accountant position). In order to avoid this bias mind, I’d like to view the other side of the “five pound note” (Soliman 2006-PPE, good one, ha-ha, we all miss you:)

Actually this is the teamwork/life philosophy I am thinking about these days. I think:” No matter who you are. There is ALWAYs a chance that the one make mistake is You.”

1. So, think again before any action. This kind situation includes debate between people or any business/life affair. “Is that what he really means?” Did I consider and distort/aggrandize it from my point of view.

2. Be patient, always give people chances to explain, avoid misunderstand, it is a waste of time and energy. If colleagues didn’t show up in time, before you start comment on this, hold on, and think again. Do you know what is really happened here? No? Wait and ask. Assume? Don’t rush to action until discover the truth.

3. Look at yourself, some quick reflection. Did I do/represent any misleading information (literal or physical) to him? Am I the one actually encouraged/not-stop it happen? If from other’s point of view, did I miss something? Did I forget about the “big-picture” and the team goal? etc

4. After you calm down and did not push hard on others. Now we all have a peaceful and clear mind to have a holistic view of the entire event and found out WHY it happened? HOW to deal with it and avoid it in the future? Save the energy on problem-solving not the blame game.

The reason to use the word -chance is to remind myself to always wait and reflect on my self??s behaviors (so hard to remember when get exciting). This really minimize the misunderstand going around me and save my anger and use the energy to find the root of the proplem – work hard – strive for the team goal.

Consider Teamwork
By end of the phase one of FACE model, it was another brilliant teamwork. Joyful and beneficial teamwork. Learned a lot about cooperation in organization and management accounting. From the aspect of delivery the result, our team achieved best results (still room for improvement, as usual). We made that business profitable, health in cash flow, no worry on loan/gearing, become on going concern and valuable company.

WHY? or HOW?
There is only a few common point I can sum up from limited experience of teamwork:

1. All team members have knowledge on the system – the system of simulated business organization, the system of effective teamwork.

2. Knowledge on the required area – accounting, production operation, affects on single decision. Knowledge on how business works as a whole. Knowing the importance of teamwork and the approaches to achieves collaboration -.

3. Philosophy that mentioned above, maybe we get same result without fully realize or understand that philosophy. At the beginning (first team work, PPE) we did that by politeness and be friendly. But that philosophy did save us from non-necessary debate, loss of focus and energy.

4. Each member of the team found a place that fit to him and willing to contribute beyond expectation. This role was not clear or fixed at the beginning, but it emerged and changed.

  • Nelly- our perfect general manager, multi function, generalist. source of solution -> evaluation
  • Helen- ?big-picture? embedded financial manager, source of reference -> experience. oh, plus food provider:) matt and i will really put on some weight…
  • Matt- source of theory ->creation, team’s idea pot, ingenious mathematician…...compare to me.
  • Ray- our firm hand treasurer (he actually grip cash in hand, ha-ha), venturous and precise ->propose big investment and still measure business money in unit of half coin.

None of us can achieve the objectives just by ourselves. In single, we may able to produce at 90%, by in teamwork, we can generate 120% and shown team performance that is a multiplication of our effort.

With above points in the team, I feel we can complete all kind of task. I think even includes task of introduce new members. I believe everyone has potential, but we need to find the right angle to see them shining. But this kind of task cannot be done by single team member, as always, we need team effort. Together we can create an environment that suitable for the transform and fit to our team. By applying knowledge and teamwork philosophy, it allows us to take time and find the truth behind issues. Avoid misleading information that blinds our mind, especially at the beginning.

With more teamwork experience, the pattern of successful / effective teamwork and leadership / management will emerge. There is no dead end in reality, but only one in our mind. Extend our imagination, there is always a chance.

Doable, but difficult.
At least, we know how.

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