Thursday, February 01, 2007

An Experience Called Team !

"When a team outgrows individual performance and learns team confidence, excellence becomes a reality.”
- Joe Patreno

When Business Week had rated the program #1, this is what they had to say about the team based learning at the team office."And it's here where much of the magic happens. Students learn how to work as part of a team--resolving differences and solving problems--in a way that can't be taught in the classroom"

Stage 3 came to an end yesterday.Stage 4 is when we choose our electives.This also means that the team with which we have worked together for the past 09 months won't work on the same deliverables again. As I think about it, I realized that I have
mixed feelings now.

The past few months have been very different. We all in this team came from different backgrounds, cultures, mind set, and had our own working styles. And in a high stress, time bound environment were asked to deliver results (projects, presentations, reports) that are of the best quality. The expectations of each individual from the program was different and then there were team expectations that were set. When the team was formed, we formed mission,values and norms for our team and tried to follow it religiously.

When we had differences in opinion, we debated over it and resolved it. When we had a slack in performance by a team member, we discussed it. When a team member lacked guidance, the team supported the person. When some one tried to become dominant, we made the person aware of this fact. Some things changed quickly, some things took time to change and some things simply did not change.:)

We argued, we confronted and discussed things to make sure that we got things on the right track. When we won, we celebrated! When we lost, we debriefed as to what went wrong.It is no secret that our team has been one of the top performing teams of this year.We have consistently bagged some of the best grades in various subjects.We aced a few subjects, had some of the best presentations and raised the bar high for other teams when they competed with us.And trust me,it has not been an easy ride to get such results. We all had our individual strengths,and worked towards the team's interest to achieve these results.

If there was someone who had the “big thinking” mind, there was another who had attention to detail.If one was good at making superior presentations, the other was good at number crunching numbers. If one was good at research and information gathering,the other was very good at executing things.

6 smart brains,1 team ,we worked hard to deliver the best results in spite of all odds.

On a personal level, I think all of us had a lot to learn from each other. We became more cultural sensitive, realized that itz not the intellectual power that makes the difference but getting the best from the person that is important. We ought to understand that every person needs to be handled and communicated in a different manner. I think we all were stretched beyond our “comfort zone” to deliver high quality stuff, and realized a "new potential" in each of us.

As for me, the team based experience has made me more mature and confident.( Oh yes..I look old now!).There were (are?) weaknesses in me. During the course of the program, it was all revealed! I was constantly challenged to improve myself and deliver stuff. There were strengths in me and I made sure that my team made the best use of it.

There have been days when I have had the most stressful moments ( and I hated it!) , and there have been moments which made me feel really good about myself ( the team loved me for it!).As I write this post on my blog, I realize that there was a unique quality in each individual of my team that I really liked.

• S’s excellent attention to detail and her organization skills (One of the best I have ever seen in my life!)
• M’s big approach thinking on various issues and his intensity to "nail" assignments.
• Se’s passion and focus on things that he loves doing (I was inspired.)
• V's confidence in himself (Mentally very strong.)
• J’s determination to fight all odds. (Managing work and taking care of family was no easy task).

I hope to take these learning’s with me as I graduate in a few months from now.The team based learning that one gets here at Queen's cannot be measured and quantified.Itz an experience of a life time.Before coming here, I had worked closely with Americans, Britishers, Indians and folks from Singapore. I had worked in teams and led teams, but I have never had an experience like this.

The team based learning model is something that connects all the present,past and future MBA students of Queen's.A few months ago, I met a Queen's Alum in Toronto at his office. He works as a Director, Corporate Development in one of the major multinationals.When he met me ,he asked me how my team experiences were.
We both had smiles on our face.! There was a lot that was said in that smile.

As I finish this post, I realize that I carry with me some of the memorable experiences of my team based learning.Take the best, and leave behind the rest.!

Gooooooooooo Team 108 ! We survived, We excelled...and we finally made it.


At 5:53 PM, Blogger Zenith said...

Great Effort there Indianblogger. An important chapter in one's life to help you grow both professionally and personally.

At 8:54 AM, Anonymous puncuation checker said...

There is probably lot needed to be done in this regard and hopefully for the future will lay down a better platform which is even said and considered to be of utmost importance and need.


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