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Celebrating Teamwork in 2018


Ms. Prisca Oluoch, Matuga Campus
Happy New Year to everyone! As we begin this year, 2018, I would like to share some thoughts on teamwork and hope that for us at the Kenya School of Government this will be a year when we will focus on building a stronger team in a special way, as we seek to be more cohesive and integrated as a School.
I read a book on the five behaviours of cohesive teams, which use workplace personality assessments to help staff understand the different personalities on their team and how they can effectively work together. The book talks about five areas that are crucial to productive team dynamics based on personality and behaviour styles as key determinants of how people present themselves and interpret the words and actions of others.
Gaining a better understanding and greater appreciation of each team member’s style gives the team as a whole the ability to work together more effectively. Patrick Lencioni’s five behaviours – trust for one another, engaging in conflict around ideas and not around people or their personalities, commitment to decisions made, holding one another accountable and focusing on achieving collective results and not just individual needs and agendas seem very apt as a guide for our 2018 team effort as a School.
Teamwork is a competitive advantage of any organization. It is so powerful yet so rare! It can, indeed, be a competitive advantage for each of the KSG Campuses and for the School as a whole, only if we strive towards achieving it knowing that success is a process.
A high-functioning team can achieve its potential, resulting in a healthier, more productive organization. Just think about it. Even if just at a physical level, when I carry a sack of potatoes alone, I could probably carry 10kgs, and some other person might carry 20kgs.
However, if we decided to carry it together, the two of us, we would be able to carry about 90kg. That is the reality of synergy.
Additionally, improving teamwork is an important endeavour beyond merely helping organizations become more effective. It also reduces stress and dissatisfaction of the people who work in those organizations, which has a profound impact on the lives of their friends and family members too.
Perhaps a good starting point for each of us would be to try and understand our own personalities better and appreciate the personalities of the people around us more genuinely this year. That way, together we can build a more cohesive team without skipping any of the five behaviours of cohesive teams since they all build upon one another.
I would like to encourage all of us to read a lot and let Patrick Lencioni’s five behaviours of highly cohesive teams be part of our 2018 must read books.
Have a prosperous reading year. I say prosperous, deliberately avoiding the happy part of it, because I know you can work around the happiness.

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