There is no perfect team. But there is a recipe for success – many similar characteristics shared by effective teams, independent of industry or function. Throughout this blog series, we will take a closer look at each of these characteristics, explore why each is important, and provide you with ways to instill and improve each characteristic within your own team.
Part One: Why Flexibility Matters
- capable of being bent, usually without breaking; easily bent:
- a flexible ruler.
- susceptible of modification or adaptation; adaptable:
- a flexible schedule.
- willing or disposed to yield; pliable:
- a flexible personality.
“Being flexible is a key trait of any team player,” according to America’s Job Exchange, a company specializing in online recruitment advertising and OFCCP compliance.
Nothing ever goes according to plan. As German military strategist Helmuth von Moltke once famously said, “No battle plan survives contact with the enemy.” This is just as true in the war room as it is the conference room. Throughout any project, there arises unexpected hurdles that must be addressed. And often the difference between success and failure is how your team adapts to those hurdles – flexibility.
“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.”
― Albert Einstein
“Confronting and resolving crises, rushing to meet deadlines, or picking up the slack for an absent or dismissed colleague are all problems that require adaptation,” says America’s Job Exchange. “If someone on a team is unable to change gears and refocus, odds are more issues will arise to further complicate the workflow process.”
In the workplace, flexibility is the ability to make changes to the time (when), location (where) and manner (how) in which a project or task is to be completed.
“While it is important to have a clearly defined set of roles and responsibilities for each member, on the most effective teams tasks and responsibilities are not rigidly adhered to,” writes Traci Schatz. “Team members are willing to cross lines of responsibility and do something that may not be in their job description, if that is what’s required to get the job done.”
As you can probably imagine, workplace flexibility is an important quality to instill in your employees. However, it is not always an easy lesson to teach.
Practice Makes Perfect
If you want your employees to be more flexible, you need to encourage collaboration and open communication. These are the backbones of a flexible workforce. Perhaps the easiest way to accomplish this is to practice. This is where Terrapin Adventures comes in. We will give your employees a crash course in flexibility. Our team team building activities allow people to play different roles within the team to work out solutions to certain challenges. Sometimes you may be a leader and sometimes you are providing a supporting role for the team, regardless of your job description, but, either way, our exercises are designed to break down communication barriers and encourage participants to work together. These exercises are fun but challenging and are designed to make your employees stop, think, communicate, adjust their plan of action on the fly, and ultimately fail once or twice before succeeding.
Conveniently located between Baltimore and Washington DC, Terrapin Adventures is able to create a customized program (onsite or offsite, indoor or outdoor) to help better your business. Our programs provide for exciting activities that bridge the gaps in communication, improve collaboration, and expand your group’s problem solving skills.
If you have any questions, please call Terrapin Adventure at 301.725.1313, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
- “What Makes a Great Team?” America’s Job Exchange. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Sept. 2016.
- Schatz, Traci. “What Makes Teamwork Effective?” Small Business. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Sept. 2016.