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Team Building - Freedom In The Framework

Dec 13, 2007
Imagine watching a National Football League game that was run in the same way as many businesses are structured.

Let's set this up.

The team in black is threatening the team in blue. The offense feels as if they have an answer to the dilemma, but first they must seek an appointment with the CEO to finalize, fine-tune and study the plan. That plan is forwarded (generally by email) to upper management for input. Then of course it has to be run through legal counsel where it is revised and ultimately requires binding and an interpreter.

The problem is, by the time the final draft of the consent decree has been forwarded back to the team the opposition has already annihilated the team that didn't have permission from the head office to fend off an attack until tit was too late.

In the NFL there is an umbrella of protection for the team. The head office makes certain decisions and they typically pass along expectations to the coach who is the primary go-between for players and the head office. The coach prepares the team for battle. By the time they meet the opposition on the playing field the team is FREE (because they have been fully trained to fulfill expectations and in knowing company policy on each play) to represent the ownership without constantly asking for permission to do so.

Yes, it is possible that team members will mess things up. They might confuse a call or jump too early or draw a foul, but the team finds freedom within framework. And that allowed team members to provide encouragement when needed.

By knowing the goals and aim of the team, the members of that team can take the sum total of what they know and use that knowledge to be effective ambassadors representing the coaches, the head office and fans.

Team building is important because in order for there to be a team the team leader or coach must invest in the lives of his or her players. They have to know about each player's strengths and weaknesses and work at conditioning them to understand the game plan, play calling and future aspirations of the team. The coach knows when to stretch the team and when it's OK to loosen up a bit. When this structure exists the team is FREE to represent the company in a way that demonstrates an understanding that when everyone puts their all on the line great things can happen.

And when the team wins everyone can celebrate because a team is always made up of more than a single individual.

Team building really is geared toward the concept of athletic training. It is saying that the team members are important enough that an investment of time, energy and money is worth it all when game day comes (usually that's daily) and the team outperforms the competition - not because one individual is selfishly hogging the ball, but because each player knows their role in the game and are ready to lay it on the line.
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