Enterprise Project Success = Dedication, Passion and Humor
When I graduated in the 90’s, I was reporting to a person that influenced and helped shape my career. He was the project lead, had an impressive track record on enterprise projects (solid resume), Harvard graduate, 20+ years of experience, overall people person and knowledgeable.
He always smiled, in a good mood and joked quite often with the team and the management team. This did not seem, the right behavior especially when you read his resume and most off the shelf management books this was part of his strategy of creating a high performance team. (At the end he did it)
We still talk quite often; he is now a C level for a large global US corporation.
Here were some of his ideas:
Team building is almost impossible when it comes to collective decision making. Each person will have his own agenda, and won’t say it in public. He knew how to breakdown walls between each other.
Unless you understand the agenda of all stakeholders, the power centre within the organization (he called it the structure behind the org) you will be set to fail.
Always show your passion, a job is what we do for money work is what we do for love.
A smile is a curve that can set a lot of things straight, it disarms and embraces teamwork.
Laughter is good for your health, use humour to overcome challenges, it promotes team bonding. He obliged us to read a study on the benefits of laughter during the project.
He had already mapped the solution, and was slowly using meetings and discussions to share his thoughts. The team felt empowered.
To decide which kind of team is going to be most successful you need to know what is your challenge, or the game. At the Olympics, a gymnastic team is a team of great individual performers who create an aggregate result from their individual performances, although they provide a supportive team environment. When looking at an Olympic hockey team on the other hand, they have to deliver a result which can only be delivered as a product of their interdependent effort - the team has to be more than the sum of the parts and they have to be a great team.
This drives my last point the future of work will be accelerated by more change, companies will need to innovate and co-create unique value with their customers and in today’s knowledge economy creativity will be more important than ever.