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The Challenge of Teamwork for the Future Published: Sunday, February 10, 2008 By: Dr. Manuel Ángel (Coco) Morales

During the last decade things changed so drastically that the issue is not anymore about finding a job, but about finding work.  Before the Industrial Revolution, people didn’t have jobs.  They had work to do.  One day that work was one thing, the next day was another.  There were not job descriptions!  With the Industrial Revolution people migrated from the world of having to do whatever was necessary to the context of the factory.

Manufacturing work was divided into segments, each of which was given to people as their jobs.  Your job assignment was yours and the next one was somebody else’s, like little pieces of property.  Because people had jobs it was very difficult to share tasks and evermore to develop a teamwork mentality.  Something similar was occurring in the service sector.

But the knowledge age is transforming work once again.  The repetitive, never changing tasks of the industrial era have been replaced by the knowledge-age projects, programs and ventures bringing together virtual and temporary teams of cross-functional professionals.  These new human resources might come from inside the company, outside contractors, alliances, partnerships and temporary agencies.  The population of temporaries professional is growing very fast.  This is what William Bridges, a theorist on work transitions, is calling these days the “dejobbed” workplace.  He is making a strong case for a different strategy aiming at marketing your career.

The new rules of the game are very interesting.  Whether unemployed or searching for a career, you have to lose your old job mindset.  Security will not come from fighting for a job, but from finding the work that needs to be done and crafting or coupling it with the new set of work criteria.  To find that work you have to engage in a mentalization process thinking of yourself as the CEO or even president or general manager of a one person company: You & Co.  As the key executive, you must marshal your resources, find the market, create, deliver the product and/or the service.

The core point of finding is focusing your energies on whatever needs doing.  Stop thinking as an employee and start envisioning yourself as a creator.  Stop viewing employers as people who hand you, the individual, a paycheck and tell you what to do.  Instead, you should be thinking about configuring a value-added proposition that cannot be refused.  Think about potential employers as clients for you, the business.  This means understanding what resources and qualifications you bring to the marketplace.

Forget the résumé!  Bridges warns that résumés are based on three e’s:  education, experience and endorsements.

In the knowledge society the three e’s do not explain who you are and what you are capable of accomplishing.

More and more, companies are looking at a new set of criteria, (by which we have helped organizations hire people) and Bridges called DATA: Desires (what do you really want to do?); Abilities (what do you do well and with quality); Temperament (what kind of person are you?); Assets (what true things of value do you bring to the workplace).

Your DATA will present more about who you really are and what you can really perform.   The strategy is of building your proposal around desires, abilities, temperament and assets that you bring to organizations not as a job applicant, but as the best way to add value.  This also relates to the fitting of market and business opportunities with the structure of your DATA.

It all relates to ten pointers for working in the future: (1) Set wise value-adding goals, (2) Recognize your own strenghts and weakness, (3) Have confidence in your ability to lead, (4) Combine decisiveness with intelligent judgement, (5) Work hard on human relations, (6) Plan your work with flexibility, (7) Be a good follower and a good leader, (8) Learn how to work in a team environment, (9) Be clear and honest while communicating with people, (10) Grow continually and be prepared to accept larger responsibilities.

The challenge is to develop a career marketable product-service for the You Co.  Running intelligently the You Co. can be a lot of fun.  When you think you have discovered a work that needs doing, write an advertisement for it.  It’s a wonderful way to fine-tune your competencies for it.

From a teamwork perspective is a matter of working with 4 c’s: 1) Context as Laying the Foundation for Team Success; 2) Composition as Getting the Right People on the Bus; 3) Competencies as Developing Team Skills for High Performance; 4) Change as Devising More Effective Ways of Working Together. 


Copyright 2008 QBS, Inc.


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