The basic idea of forming teams, or even forming an organization, is the belief that the combined effect of a team is greater than the sum of individual efforts. Is this always true?
From a theoretical perspective, we can agree that working together as a team allows for individual perspectives, experience, and skills to solve complex problems, creating new solutions and ideas that is beyond the scope of any one individual.
However – to be able to work as a team, we need to know the purpose of the team –what work do we share and which common goals do we have?
If we look at OSM Maritime Group as one big team, we share a vision of being a long term partner for our customers, a home for our people and an asset in society – and we share all the work we need to deliver every day to fulfill this vision.
Since this is a broad purpose and a very big team, we need to break down tasks and people into smaller teams to understand the specific purpose of our work, what we are accountable for and with whom we shall collaborate to get the job done.
This applies both onboard and onshore.
Sailing a boat is a good metaphor for teamwork and how to successfully manage our business - sailing is all about teamwork, and teamwork is all about people. Each person in the team has a specific job, with specific responsibilities and competencies. Some of the worst mistakes happen when somebody tries to do someone else's job.
Practice helps, as does communication. If everyone knows their job, the boat sails fast and smooth. If people are confused about what they're supposed to do, or when they're supposed to do it, sail changes happen at the wrong times - in particular if the communication is poor, and the boat loses its forward momentum.
Speed alone will not win the race if the wrong strategic choice is made, or if the boat or business sails in the wrong direction - and perfect strategy cannot overcome slow speed. Winning requires a mastery of all these elements: preparation, strategy, boat handling, speed and tactics. Without teamwork, this becomes mission impossible.
In OSM we focus on the value TEAMBUILDER beacause we strongly believe it is the only way we can solve complex business challenges, deliver quality over time and create solution for the future to stay in the game. It's all about people and our ability to work as a team.
An individual focused on being a teambuilder thinks about "we" rather than "I". They make sure to keep the team focused on group goals and group success rather than individual agendas. A good teambuilder communicates well, shares what they know with their team and knows when to lead and when to follow. Finally, highly successful teams are built on safety and trust. Great teambuilders help create and maintain a trusting environment. They give their trust freely and expect to receive your trust in return.
Marit Saether OSM Head of Organizational Development & Corporate Support