At the 2013 Christmas party, the company had signs made for my office with 2 of my favorite quotes from Patrick Lencioni’s “The Advantage”.

The first is this:

TEAMWORK

“Not finance. Not strategy. Not technology. 

It is teamwork that remains the ultimate competitive advantage, both because it is so powerful and so rare.”

Lencioni goes on to share the natural tendencies to focus on the tangible sciences rather than the messy art that is human relationship and the biases that cause one to disregard the strategy of “teamwork.”

Over the last 3.5 years, we’ve invested more time and energy in this principle than any other.  And it’s working.  When people work as a team, a greater portion of their collective intellect is harnessed.  When the right questions are asked and politics/ego fade to the background, the best ideas and answers naturally rise to the surface.

This is the power of teamwork.  Teamwork is the means of finding answers to questions of finance, technology and strategy.

Yup, no doubt there isn’t a whole lot that’s concrete, simple or often measurable.  It’s certainly not eye catching or sexy.  It’s messy and requires an entirely different set of tools.  The pendulum moves more toward clarity, communication and conflict and less toward the evaluation of the past quarter’s financial performance.  It’s far easier in the short run to avoid the challenging conversations and conflict.  But over time, little by little, as trust and clarity develop and the team begins to gel and move with unity and purpose, a catalytic synergy begins to take place.  And the rest is history.

A hearty thanks to Patrick Lencioni and the Table Group for their impact on me and our organization.  Indeed, teamwork is the linchpin of competitive advantage.

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