April 1, 2008

Are empowerment and teams buzzwords now?

I’m used to writing articles and manuals, so you wouldn’t think it would be a struggle for me to come up with something to say as my introduction on this blog. Since this blog is supposed to be helpful and enlightening in a multitude of ways, at first it was hard for me to come up with something new and different in a more succinct way than what I’ve said many times before in various mediums using my standard writing style (e.g. this kind of wordy sentence). However, I decided the best way to write something in a more open style was to just sit down at my computer and let random thoughts jump from my brain onto the page. So below are some random things my brain found in the deep recesses of memory based on my time as a working consultant and as a full-time employed member of the corporate world.

Last year, I facilitated a full day team-building event for a struggling interstate project leadership team. When I last contacted the event coordinator about something she had expressed an interest in, I asked about how the event attendees and their support teams were doing. After hearing the camaraderie built at the event, knowledge of joint purpose and goals, and improved communication and problem solving were still going strong months later – it acknowledged for me that team-building and related training are still very important to business success. I also wondered how many others might feel the same.

Empowerment and teams were the buzzwords in the 90’s, which wasn’t that long ago, but we don’t hear much about them anymore. Why is that? Could it be that recognition of individual skills, experience, and knowledge is now so much a part of our business culture that we finally accept people as valuable assets with brains and muscle that we can utilize to move forward in business and increased profit? Or could it be that since empowerment was often tied to team-building, that we now so readily recognize the importance of working in teams for better design, development, implementation, planning, and problem solving that we no longer need to talk about it? If we no longer talk about team-building, does that mean we did it right, that our leadership sponsors knew what they were doing, or does it mean we quit trying to utilize them?

Hopefully, these ramblings and questions have gotten you to think. Compose your thoughts and answer my questions for yourself. If you feel like sharing your thoughts our team successes, add your comments. Whether or not you feel what you have to share are deep thoughts or just random musings – I’m interested in your perspective.

No comments: