A strong and mutually auspicious community doesn’t build itself
So what is business economic development all about? Well, it involves creating strong working relationships between local businesses and the economy in order to build a healthier and fruitious environment for everyone involved – the people. That’s where it all begins; it starts with you! What makes up a community? – You, your boss and co-workers, your friends, neighbours, children and even the guy from school that you’d never seen to eye to eye with.
Economic development is about setting aside our differences and focusing on the collaboration of our strengths in order to create a community that is better for everyone, not just for us as individuals; this is why team building is one of the fundamental building blocks of the business economic development industry.
Team building is about understanding the true meaning of the word relationship. Just like in anything else, for a relationship to work there has to be give and take. If you’re in a relationship or a friendship where everything seems to be off balance and incredibly one sided you will grow to invest less time and effort; eventually leading to the collapse and dismantling of what you were trying to build in the first place.
Remember that you’re working, not speed dating – work with your team, not against them
The fact is that nobody in history has ever sprung out of bed with excitement and anticipation of the up-coming team building workshop that their employers have arranged for them that day. To most people it is just “one of those things” that we all have to grin and bear as part of our job description, much like health and safety training, manual lifting exercises and fire drills; though like it or not, they serve a purpose and they work!
This is why it is valuable to partner people up in team exercises that you know for a fact do not particularly want to work together. In the work place there is always bound to be the odd one or two people that really do not see eye to eye; pair them up with an attractive incentive to win and watch them smash their way through the activities. That is the essence of team building: the fact that working is not all about making friends – it’s about making a difference; and that is what we want for our local communities.
Take a look at deep sea fishing charters in Sydney for example – when I was traveling around I worked on a fishing boat for a while and there was this one particular guy that I really did not get on with at all. In fact to put it bluntly; we hated one another. However the fact remained, we were both good at what we did and we had a job to do and our skipper endeavoured to bring us closer together, not because he cared whether or not we were friends, but because he cared about the impression we created for his customers and how we represented his brand. It took some time but reluctantly, we both grew to understand that it was in fact in our best interests to just put our differences aside and get the job done.