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SXSW: Making the Case for the ‘I’ in T-E-A-M

Today Mindjet’s very own Chief Products Officer, Blaine Mathieu, presented to a standing-room-only session at SXSW Interactive. Titled “There is an ‘I’ in T-E-A-M” the discussion took the common notion that all boats rise with the tide and flipped it on its ear.  With BYOD and Millennials forever changing the workplace, teamwork might be more about getting all the jet skis in line to create a powerful wake.

The rallying cry “there is no ‘I’ in team” appears dated and outmoded for organizations that often span generations.  As Blaine noted, several facts suggest that you might want to chuck the old adage from your motivational top ten list. Here’s just three:

  1. Company loyalty is dead. The average worker today stays at their jobs for a pawltry  4.4 years, according to the most recent available data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  The tenure of Millennials is expected to be just half of that.
  2. The new kids on the block are a generation of “Me”. There are more than 80 million millennials in the US workforce and according to Generation Me author Jean Twenge, they’re all about what’s in it for them.
  3. They expect to be heard.  According to survey results from Future Workplace, more so than previous generations, the new workforce is looking to be part of the creative process.  Nine out of 10 Millennials want senior people in their company to listen to their ideas and opinions.

There is silver lining. Humans are hardwired to collaborate. Scientific American reports that collaboration is the first “killer” app (and we all thought it was fire), so groupwork doesn’t appear to be going the way of the dinosaur.

There’s also a growing resource library to help you learn about how we individually work and can support each other to further all of our goals (which sounds a lot like teamwork).  Our Workology series overviewed here is a good place to start.  According to Gallup, good things result: an 8% increase in productivity and 27% higher profits.  And that’s some bank for all of us.

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