Thursday, 22 March 2018

Teamwork - a thought

A while ago I responded to a statement that millennials and Gen Y people expect to be able to use any device of their choosing at work. My response (and I can't remember where I had this hissy-fit) was along the lines of "Tough! Once we grow up, we have to toe the line, and sometimes that means using and doing stuff that seems daft". However, going through the VeriSM BoK and there is a statement
that goes
"the nature of teams is evolving, moving away from the traditional hierarchical structure, to empowered and collaborative work units. The workers of today and especially tomorrow (Gen Y & Gen Z) have been raised in the teamwork culture and organisations need to be prepared to offer that same work environment." (emphasis mine)

Now, as a dad, I know everything, right? Nope. My initial reaction to the above statement was along the lines of "Pish!", or to be less English and more Kiwi "Yeah, Nah!" but then I got thinking. When I was at school, we sat at individual desks, in columns and learnt. Science classes were the only ones where we sat and worked in small groups. My daughters at Intermediate School and College (high school) only seem to work in groups. It's what they know. Could they join the workforce and be expected to work individually? Yes. Would they excel in that format? Probably not.

So we do need to change the way that work environments are created, not just because they are "self-entitled" Gen Y people, but because we have created that environment in schooling.

Does you work environment allow for a culture of team working (not just "in a team" but actually part of a team)? Or do you expect people to be doing their own job while working in the Finance team, or the HR team, or the Asset Management team? And I'm not saying open plan offices are the answer.

When consulting with clients about DevOps, I reinforce the culture, collaboration & teams aspect, which of course if you are considering becoming part of the DevOps movement in your organisation, means changing the culture across the whole organisation, but this needs to work across all teams in all organisations whether DevOps is something being considered or not. I also always like to create self managing teams when helping organisations to identify and drive improvements of any kind, but this has just been a lightbulb.

Maybe I am late to the realisation party, but that one sentence has made me take stock of everything I have ignored about the way most organisations work. I don't have all the answers, but I'm thinking about it.