Blog Post 5-29-12

Confessions from a True Believer in Teaming

This narrative comes from a private-sector experience, but the successful outcome was pulled from the very heart of hard-working and dedicated people, all of whom received coaching by trained supervisors throughout the transition into teams.

It was only a matter of time, but the daily newspaper I worked for was due for a major overhaul in the advertising department...we were ready for the move to Teaming.

At the newspaper, we were all experiencing vertigo from the precipitous drops in ad revenue and circulation; but what we didn’t realize was the urgent need for someone to help move us out of the doldrums to face head on the new challenges awaiting our industry.

At the core, was our need to start trusting each other again and to believe in ourselves: We knew that our century-old newspaper had the right people with the guts, the talent and vision to forge ahead.

The turnaround was beyond amazing. It had the elements of ‘this-can’t-be-true’ to ‘wow-I think-I-see-it-now.”

The premise? Our 12 reps were going to be combined into four teams, each with their own graphic artist and marketing assistant.

Why was this brilliant?

Before, each of us was spending way too much time with the administrative end of things, leaving scant time to nurture the lifeblood of the company: sales.

TIME FOR ‘STORMING’ AND THE TEAM CONCEPT

We were told outright that after the formation into teams---and the physical re-arrangement of our office to accommodate us---the ‘storming’ would begin: personality conflicts, workload issues and all other concerns had to be resolved by…the team.

At times we were angry with our co-workers; frustrated with ourselves and questioned the company for pushing us to become more accountable.

THE CHANGE…

The frustrations we felt lessened as we were able to present new ideas to our advertisers with ‘spec’ ads and presentations, something we just didn’t have time to do right in our antiquated ways of the past.

IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH

Sounds corny, but now we were working more closely with people we’d known for many, many years; the problem was we had been too involved with ourselves. We witnessed genuine affection and caring shown to fellow team members when things weren’t right with a colleague, or during a family emergency.

All in all, we became willing players in the turnaround; we were teams with one voice for a stronger, more viable and relevant sales force. We worked our hard to increase the company's bottom line in darn tough conditions. Growth came incrementally, but it felt great.

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