Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
As businesses grow and develop, it is very important that they form a strong team that can work well together. That is what happens at BlueStar, where we have a global team that is physically based in different regions but works very well together keeping up with the communication and generation of ideas to continue the growth and innovation of our business.
In my region – Latin America, we have a team in Mexico and another team in South Florida. My Marketing team, composed by Business Development Managers (BDM) is responsible to drive new business opportunities and manage the accounts for the most important vendors that we represent. Even though each BDM manages a certain vendor or group of vendors — and usually this means that many are competitors — the BDM team is a very strong and united group of individuals that are looking for new opportunities to grow their vendor’s business within BlueStar.
The Team Concept:
The concept of “Team” is the base of any successful business and it can be carried through team members that may seem to be competitors. A team, while having the same mission and vision, must share good work ethics and respect towards their team members. Our Business Development Management team maintains a healthy competition amongst themselves as they grow their individual businesses while striving to maintain great customer service, high standards on education and training for our clients, and by developing new business opportunities. BlueStar promotes team interaction and I believe that this is one of the main differentiators that have made us stand out as a leader in the industry.
A strong team needs to be united, interested and challenged. A weekly, bi-monthly or monthly meeting with team members is a good way to keep the team together and informed as to any changes, to discuss challenges, accomplishments and ideas that will improve our business. Keeping the team together and informed is a great way to keep the momentum going, mostly when an organization does not coexist in the same space as BlueStar. Taking notes at each meeting and sharing these “Meeting Minutes” among the team members can be handy for future meetings and to continue a conversation or plan. Keep it simple. The communication between team members has to be direct and concise. Have an agenda to follow and manage the time flow so that the team does not spend too much time on one topic if not necessary. Be concise on what needs to be done, how it needs to be done and why it needs to be done. Assign who is responsible for the task, and identify who will be in charge of accomplishing it so that each person understands their role. Empower team members and encourage cooperation.
As business grows sometimes our teams change and grow too. We had a few changes in our team and new people joined us in the later half of 2013. Last month we had a team building activity outside of the office, to discuss our goals for this year and to strengthen our team. We started off with breakfast and then during the morning hours worked on our strategy for 2014 pointing out our goals and challenges and welcoming the new team members while older members shared their experiences and how team members interact and help each other. We had lunch together and after a break we started with the team building activities.
Depending on your group, you have to choose the best activities that will work effectively with the team members. Because we had new people in our team — and two of those worked in our Mexico office, I decided to have them play a couple of “discovery” games so they would all get to know the new team members better. We did a “fun” competition-style game for everyone to play, followed by a “debate” activity where we broke the team in two and challenged them with a topic to discuss and debate. I was pleasantly surprised to see the team members’ interaction and some individuals who took a lead position that they had not taken before. It was a casual setting and sometimes this helps in encouraging some persons to come out and show another aspect of them. The entire day was great! I got some ideas for team building games from www.businessballs.com
A strong team respects one another and they work very well together. Your business is as strong as your weakest team member. Invest time and resources in reinforcing your team so that your business can be strong too. Invest in education and plan team activities with them as a recognition of your team’s importance to the success of your business. I can assure you that your team will strengthen and so will your business.