Given the importance of teamwork, collaboration and network building in the professional world and in a modern academic program, what are the most significant strengths and contributions you bring to the group and the program? Mention any particular experiences have you had with team development and team dynamics.
When I was working in TF in 2008, I was selected to lead a PPI (Practical Process Improvement) Project on company AR DSO improvement.
In this project team, all the members come from different functions and positions. To encourage everyone high involved into the project quickly, I kick off the meeting with a brainstorm on self-strength & weakness. Through the brainstorm, members are aware that we all have strength and important to the team, meanwhile our weakness always can be covered by other members also. That is why teamwork can always give high efficiency in the business and academic grogram and how important it is! Only teamwork can make the group stronger and get the project or program be finished on time and succeed.
During the project process, both I and the members all meet problems, we need to get abundant data base to analysis why the AR DSO is always in a bad situation, we need to find simple solution to have a quick improvement, and we need to persuade relative functions accept our final changes on process to get the project executed smoothly. Members use their network in the company to find the right person and get to know the exact data and where the problem is. And with the collaboration from all the functions including finance, sales, customer services, the project solution has a well test in the next half-year and get an excellent result which brings the team a great success. This is a true experience tell me that the network building and collaboration is how important in a big company. Without their support and collaboration, even though the project is a really good one, it also can’t be process and get good result.
I always believe that to have a team developing and dynamic, the leader not only should have enough capability & power, but also should give the members respect, opportunity and personal successful experience. The above-mentioned PPI project gives me an exact experience on it. This team is a totally different one from my normal work team. All the members are not familiar with each other before and have different functions & background. But the project request us be involved and find the accurate solution efficiently. As a leader, I prepare myself by having the PPI Management & Facilitator course firstly. Because I knows that only I owned the solid knowledge and ability, then I can show them the way and encourage them to find the confidence at the first kick-off meeting.
Each member is encouraged to take a role (Recorder, Describer, Speaker, Time Keeper, etc.) in the team voluntarily, uses their strength and helps each other on project process. As mentioned in the 2nd paragraph, I always use the brainstorm to have everyone gives out their own opinions and let them to find the data base to support their opinions. In the bi-weekly meeting, I collect the data and solutions from them and bring out a report for the Speaker to present to the team. Through this way, members get opportunity to do something themselves and find their effort are all in the report, their works is respect and valuable which brings them dynamics to go next step on the project. Also their potentials are found and used in the works.
I’m a well organized and logic person, and good at communication. I believe win-win is the basement to make a group and program successful. As an experienced operation person, I’m good at lead a group to find the process and steps on program processing. And as a leader, I’m good at listening and helping members to find the key points and solutions. In the mentioned PPI project, our team has a wonderful final report on the AR DSO improvement from 90 to 30. All the members not only get awarded from the company and get promoted in the coming years, but also have a personal raise through the one-year project experience. I’m really proud of it.