Cisco UK & Ireland Blog

The Power of Three? In 2017, it’s all about the Power of Team…

February 22, 2017

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” ~ African Proverb

What do you think of when I say the word team? The Premier League-defying Leicester City? Team GB? Work? Maybe your son’s Saturday morning kickabout? Perhaps the image is more generic, conjuring up the superpower essence of what a ‘team’ really is: talent, pure grit, determination, camaraderie, togetherness. Success. Or failure. Some of the very best teams might not always make it the first time and they learn from that loss to win even bigger the next time around.

The truth is, there are many types of teams and many types of success. Yet it is a truth universally acknowledged (as Austen might have said), the greatest and most enduring facet of any team is that it is greater than the sum of its parts. The Power of Teams is one of the most formidable manifestations that human achievement has endured since the dawn of time. As Charles Darwin observes, “It is the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) that those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed”.

So, we can learn the same lessons from the Roman Legions as we can from a flock of geese flying overhead in your local park.

What have the Romans ever done for us?

Well [clears throat for Monty Python-esque list], apart from the aqueduct, sanitation, roads, irrigation, medicine, education, wine (hurrah!), public baths and law and order, the Roman Legions showed us the monolithic strength of their teams. Roman Legion organisation is noted in history for being more flexible than many opponents, handling challenges ranging from cavalry, to guerrilla, to siege warfare with the discipline to sustain combat effectiveness over longer periods. All performed as part of the collective team effort of a Roman Army.

Image credit: Joseph Herrin (Blogspot)

Image credit: Joseph Herrin (Blogspot)

Don’t duck from the competition

Ok, fine. Romans were good at working as a team. But the birds?! Well, have you ever stopped to look up as above the majestic beauty of a migrating flock of Canada Geese fly overhead home to the motherland in winter? It’s pretty cool. That fabulous ‘V’ makes for Insta gold while I hashtag ‘birdwatching’.

Yet, when it comes to our feathered friends, they don’t just look pretty fly. They are. Scientists estimate that by flying together in a v-formation, the whole flock can fly about 70% further than they could individually without exerting any extra energy. This is because flying together helps reduce wind resistance, while also providing additional lift. Now that’s impressive. Apparently more than Toucan do it. Ahem. Seriously though, what geese teach us that working together as a team achieves some pretty amazing results without exerting any additional, unnecessary energy.

Team Mum

Teams aren’t just confined to nature or history though. There are marvelous, magical teams working together to make extraordinary achievements happen every single day. I am personally forever grateful to the medical teams at London’s Chelsea and Westminster and West Middlesex hospitals. It is thanks to them that despite the trials and tribulations of suffering from a physical condition since my early twenties that makes pregnancy complicated and higher risk, I have my beautiful son and daughter. Two happy, healthy apples of my eyes delivered after two pregnancies managed and cared for by the amazing teams of doctors, nurses and midwives across two hospitals – medical teams all working together to bring life into the world safely and giving me the honour of being able to be their Mum.

This is going to really embarrass them in 10 years...

My precious team cargo. This is going to really embarrass them some day…(Mum’s prerogative, don’t care!)

Create winning teams in your organisation

”Great things in business are never done by one person; they’re done by a team of people.” ~ Steve Jobs

And let’s return to the words of Darwin, too. Working together is about survival: “…those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed”. So, in order to maximise the achievements of your organisation’s teams and reap the rewards for your bottom line, you MUST be able to bring your teams together.

Write your team mantra today!

Write your team mantra today!

Your organisation’s teams are THE most powerful and effective tool available to you. Harness their power and win in the most competitive consumer and business markets we have ever faced in history. Enable them to work collaboratively, with seamless and effective communication across multiple projects, workflows and applications. Via only one platform. Simply. Securely.

Maximise the achievements of your organisation’s teams and reap the rewards for your bottom line. Learn more about how the features of Cisco Spark  and the new Cisco Spark Board can bring your teams together to collaborate and work smarter.

What teams have inspired you or had a direct impact on your professional or personal life? Share your comments below!

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