I learn a lot from my team. Especially when I take the time to listen. I should listen more to them and I am sure if I do I will learn more. Here are examples of creative ideas and inspirations I have gotten from my team members, present and past. All of them focus on motivating and managing stakeholders and building team spirit.
First tip is to celebrate successes, even small ones with the client. This is very helpful to build teams that extend beyond company boundaries to include subcontractors, suppliers, and clients alike.
Second tip is to call for impromptu meetings with the team to discuss an emerging issue, a new idea, an opportunity etc, especially an idea form another team member. Make it a short meeting, preferably standing, and get input from everybody. It allows team members to interact and feel empowered to participate in improvements.
A third tip is to go out to lunch or other activities off the company premises. This can be going bowling, playing basketball, gokarting, etc. It helps the team interact outside the limits of work roles and pressures.
This fourth trick comes from my ex boss. He used to to share with us, and encourage us to share personal photos. So we have lunch together once a week and each week one of us would share family and personal photos with the rest of the team in an informal manner. The idea was very useful and fun at the same time, especially that the team members came from different countries and cultures and sharing the personal photos gave the rest an idea about a different culture and customs. It was an excellent team building exercise.
One last trick I would like to mention is creating the “Project Book.” This is before everything turned electronic. I learned this from one of my ex project managers. She used to use the project book as you would use a family photo album. She would include excerpts and headlines from emails, memos, issues, opportunities, successes, plans, etc from the project and put them in a big binder in a timeline order. She would even include photos, things, ribbons, cuts of paper, drawing and doodles from team members and much more. These become great material for “show and tell” to management, team members, and help sell the project, the team, and the successes from the project. It also builds team spirit.
If you have a nice idea for team building please share it with us here.