Rethinking Teamwork (Lessons from CollisionConf 2015)

The best resource your business will ever have, is people. While apps and tools come and go, you’ve got to be kind to your people.

Last week I attended the CollisionConf in Las Vegas – a meeting place for people who are both managing the companies of today and building the companies of tomorrow. The diversity of the attendees and speakers was mind-blowing, but all seemed to agree on one thing – while the tools that you use in your daily life are crucial in the process of succeeding, the most essential assets in your company are the people – your team.

Here’s a couple of thinking points that stuck with me.

Your team is your powerhouse

One of the first steps to successful teamwork is putting one hell of a team together. As cliché as it sounds, your team is as strong as it’s weakest link. While you can train people and try to change them, sometimes you have to make certain adjustments that will be beneficial in the long run.

CollisionConf 2015 Las Vegas

Ryan Holmes – the guy behind Hootsuite social media management platform – mentioned in his talk that in order to maintain a healthy team culture, don’t keep the rotten apples around for too long. We all know how one rotten apple affects a perfectly radiant bowl of apples. Toxic people need to go.

If you stop communication, you stop innovation

It’s no news flash that teams with the most advanced and open communication skills are the most successful. Everything may seem like fun and games when you meet your team member during a coffee break, or battle them in a vigorous Nerf gun fight, but when it comes to growing as a team and a team player, avoid being the communication killer.

Curt Conin at CollisionConf

Being closed-minded, prone to judgement and not respecting multiple realities are just some of the many reasons communication fails in a team according to Curt Cronin, a former Navy Seal. His lesson is simple – ditch the lectures and monologues and go for the dialogues.

The more successful you become, the more you need to invest in team building

The bigger companies get, the faster innovation and communication die out. That’s why it is essential to put extra focus on making teams stronger by different team building activities. As teams grow, people get “too busy” and communication starts to fade out, causing misunderstandings and conflicts between teams and the individuals.

As companies and teams grow, there is no such thing as O.D.-ing on communication.

And while we’re at building teams, it’s also a good idea to think about your company culture and values when you find yourself enjoying rapid growth.

Be your biggest fan, but also your biggest critic

Hands down – the people behind Teamweek are some of the tool’s heaviest users. Marit, our project manager, takes tons and tons of information and plans from our weekly meetings and squeezes them onto the Timeline – this helps everyone stay at the top of their game and see what needs to get done.

But with heavy usage of our own tool we also detect flaws in the process and make adjustments and fixes here and there. If something doesn’t feel right to the team, you might want to take a second look at your product.

Because a good team knows more than an individual ever could.


Working with a remote team? Here’s 3 strategies from Teamweek on how to keep everybody engaged.

Should you go solo or stick together? Teamwork and individual work have their strengths and weaknesses – compare them here.

Want to meet our team? See where we’re going next here!

By On May 22, 2015

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