The Secrets of Great Team Work
Our success as an organisation depends on great team work; with our colleagues, with our supporters and with our partner organisations around the world. And so we were delighted to welcome the writer and business leader, Margaret Heffernan, to Hope and Homes for Children’s head office on Tuesday to talk to us about the secrets of even more effective team working.
Margaret, who volunteered her time to speak to staff, is an international businesswoman and author. She has been invited to talk to the world’s leading businesses and sports teams and her TED online talks have been seen by over 6 million people.
In the course of an hour-long talk, Margaret shared some of the latest thinking on successful team building. “More than the individual characteristics of the team members, what really matters in great team work is what’s happening between people,” she explained. “How connected are they? How alert are they? How good are they at bringing in the knowledge, experience and thinking of every single member?”
“What matters is the mortar rather than the bricks,” she concluded. “If the interaction within teams isn’t outstanding, then it doesn’t matter who you hire, it won’t work.”
Margaret suggested that the key to improving the interaction between team members was to create a work place culture that allowed staff to get to know and understand each other. This would lead to greater levels of helpfulness, information sharing and trust which in turn would help to ensure that bad ideas were challenged and improved.
Margaret Heffernan visited Hope and Homes for Children as part of an ongoing series of informal lunchtime talks, initiated by staff to inspire new and useful ways of working towards our vision of a world in which children no longer suffer institutional care.