Final Camp Switzerland
A bit over year ago after I visited Switzerland I did a revisit there with my whole team. This time the trip was different. We had a contract for innovation in Switzerland and we got to stay in a beautiful chalet in Crans-Montana. A little town near Sierre where the HES-SO Team academy is located. After this trip I think our team became closer and this is a partial reason we did so well in the 24 hour challenge. This essay will take a look into does closer team mean more efficient result or is my too short case study wrong.
The challenge in Switzerland
We did an innovation in Switzerland for a company called Maverics. Maverics is a holistic active workspace located in touristic Crans-Montana. Their challenge to us was to find out how to get most out of their social media platforms without posting every day. And how to get followers from a specific target group. It was definitely a new challenge to us since not many of us is highly into social media growth. Everybody knew something because that is the baseline now days in business but this needed some real research. The challenge was very specific which didn’t leave much room for innovation but everybody was happy about it. It was a new area for everybody and the research we made is definelty beneficial for all of us in the future.
We made an awesome 24-hour performance while finalizing our studies with number 5 in our pocket from the challenge. That made me think. Did the 8-day long trip improve our performance? At least I have noticed a better chemistry and connection between the people I worked in Switzerland with.
Somewhat a year ago I was introduced to Amy C. Edmondson´s psychological safety concept. “Psychological safety is a shared perception among team members indicative of an interpersonal climate that supports risk taking and learning (Edmondson 1999)”. Edmondson inspired me with her speech on the 2022 Nordic Business Forum about the best surgical teams in hospitals so much that I ended up facilitating three pajas on the subject for three different groups. In short, Edmondson studied that the best performing groups were more open to sharing their mistakes and learning from their mistakes while the groups that weren´t open about their mistakes kept performing worse than the teams that shared their mistakes. For a team to improve it easier to improve when the team knows what to improve. It is also up to the leaders to point out and find out areas of improvement.
“When predicting both engagement and performance, a team’s awareness of their strengths is more important than the specific composition of those strengths (Gallup 2023)”. This means when knowing your team better you are able to utilize your team mates skills better. And the better the team does this the better they perform. Higher engagement in teams resulted 17% higher productivity and 21% higher profitability (Gallup 2023).
I definitely think that going to a “project trip” together made us closer. It was a combination of the professional days we spent in an unfamiliar environment and the nights we spent together under the same roof in a gorgeous chalet. When we got into intense work environment and worked with full effort we were able to trust each other better and notice the best ways to work together. You could see this in the end result.
I definitely think that going on a trip like this is beneficial for the team. Shared memories are important on a long term team relationships and they help us know each other better. When I will be a leader in the future I will implement something like this to my team. There was research supporting my belief, teams work better when they know each other better. It’s not who’s the most skilled but who can utilise the teams skills the best way. This is an important to realise when leading. It´s easy think that of course I’m utilising the team in a best possible way but where do you know it? Even making simple Google Forms for your team occasionally can give you crucial information where you need to improve.
Gallup. 2023. How to Improve Teamwork and Collaboration in the Workplace. https://www.gallup.com/cliftonstrengths/en/278225/how-to-improve-teamwork.aspx
Cooke NJ, Hilton ML. 2015. Enhancing the Effectiveness of Team Science. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK310382/