“We own it!” Isn’t that another way of saying we’re engaged, we care, we’re all in. When a team feels like they own the work they’re doing, the power of positivity boosts creativity, efficiency and results. I experienced the value of feeling ‘ownership’ myself last night at a team building program I led for Cummins, Inc. This was a small group and before the team building activity this leadership team had dinner. There was no background music and it seemed very quiet so my contact at Cummins asked if I’d play a little background piano; the kind of incidental music I had provided quite often as a young musician in New York many years ago when I was existing gig to gig. I immediately said yes with a smile, and began to play. A flood of memories – back over twenty years to when I hated providing anonymous background music. But last night instead of dread, I felt good.
Own It and You Won’t Mind Getting Dirty
I felt good because I felt ownership in the event last night. I was engaged in the big picture. Yes, I had been hired to lead a creative team building program with this group. But I was vested in the overall concept of helping them have a successful evening. Being vested in that, I was willing to roll up my sleeves and do the proverbial dish-washing, or in this case incidental background music. The experience reminded me of why a fun team building program will yield real results if it’s done strategically.
Team Building as a Catalyst for Engagement
When we work with clients we enable groups to co-create their story. To think about, sing about and celebrate who they are, what they do and what motivates them. We help teams get back in touch with the positive aspects of their jobs, to make emotional connections which help participants to feel engaged. As a kick-off to a series of meetings this heightened engagement is empowering. People bring ownership and enthusiasm to the table and we see better results with more energy for problem solving and creativity.
Now I’m not going to start advertising that I can provide background music prior to your team building program. But I have learned that I can contribute in unexpected ways when I’m vested in the outcome of a project. I bet you can do the same.