Just 2 weeks ago, one team I work with, was finally ready to go out and have dinner and drinks. It was after a few weeks of struggles about processes, (a lack of )leadership and (unclear) demanding clients ánd a first successful release.
During the night, their name changed from “team 1” into : MaxPinguins.
Just because they could, I guess. And it was ‘just funny’ for a few days ( and embarrassing when meeting with the client too).
But then a team member came up with a clip from the movie “Pinguins of Madagascar”.
And within 10 minutes, they decorated the on- and offline board, created a yell, named each other nicknames, renamed “sprint” to “mission” and decorated the HipChat channel.
Now, they unite around the theme. They are proud on the team-as-a-team. They help each other citing movie scenes. During standups, they question each other about “making the mission a success”.
It’s a great real life example of how a name, an identity, really helped to unite / create a True Team.
So, whenever you struggle with the unity in a team, please do other stuff together then work. Go to dinner, go bowling, walk together, let them cook dinner at your/their place, just something else they are up to.
I read a post by Jurgen Appelo once about naming a team. As I remember it:
“If you don’t have a shared identity, you’ll never work as a team. A name is step one and essential”.
I’ve worked with many teams, and some are very open to building a team.
Others think it’s nonsense. They are just my colleagues, we just do our jobs. If you’re working with the latter: pick your timing for suggesting a non-work activity wise….
- Let the teams name themselves.
- Doing non-work stuff might just be the right moment to come up with one.
- Respect and use the name carefully: it’s their identity.
- Enjoy the True Team
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