Our team was established during the merger of two companies. They naturally had different cultures, and the challenge in building a new team in this context is getting to know and understand each other.
It’s a challenge to get into informal discussions to understand the working practices and motivations of each other. Additionally, for all our existence as the current team, we have lived in a COVID world, essentially working remotely. Everyone attends several meetings daily, but misses the natural touching points to get to understand the underlying culture and assumptions each of us have. We have a very strong global team, and SmoothTeam glued us together.
SmoothTeam helped to understand strengths and weaknesses
I appreciate the SmoothTeam process, which flows smoothly and creates meaningful discussions. Everyone in the team also appreciated the reports in that they helped in understanding the team construction and dynamics: how we are as a team, how am I in relation to the team?
We learned to know our colleagues much better, including some strengths that hadn’t been realized before. Sometimes it was confirmation, sometimes new insight – and it often opened up new ways to perceive team members.
SmoothTeam opened up informal communication
It was interesting to see how SmoothTeam helped open up informal communication. For example, two of our team members who live and work relatively close to each other – and where physical meetings with proper precautions are currently allowed – decided they’ll have lunch together. Also as a whole team, we’ll have a weekly Friday Quiz. These are examples of really good enablers coming from the team, facilitated by the SmoothTeam session.
The buy-in to shared practices is better with simulation
We need new practices on how we actually work together. For example, if I would just propose a virtual coffee break, it wouldn’t have the same impact as if someone from the team takes the initiative.
SmoothTeam enabled the team to come up with solutions like this together, to build our shared way of working. The buy-in is fundamentally better this way. It’s not only about the actual solutions we may use, but about the shared process of creating them. The simulation built a good foundation for me as a manager to build the team further.
The simulation sparked something in the team
You can carry out these kinds of discussions in many ways, and this was a fun way, which we all enjoyed. Making a serious topic fun also helped the discussion. We are looking to continue the discussions after the simulation.
The simulation clearly was the highlight of the week, and not only that, but now with hindsight I notice that the team members are continuing to build on the ideas we got in the simulation. This sparked something in the team, a new connection and new commitment to each other.
I recommend SmoothTeam to global teams
I can recommend SmoothTeam to global teams that work remotely. The simulation worked very well for us, as a team that has been functional for half a year and is currently working from home. I think it works both for more recent as well as for more established teams – and especially for teams having a lot of virtual meetings.
Process Portfolio Manager