How do you turn 6 strong willed IBMers into a united team?

Put them in a foreign country and ask them to ‘play nice together’!  :- )

I’ve been in IBM for 29 years (yeah that surprises me at times too!) and it never ceases to amaze me the incredible talent that IBM has in it’s employees!  And to take it a step further, the executives in IBM were named executives likely because of their strong personalities and desire to ‘win’ (or be right : – ).  Put six of them together to solve a complex problem and they will figure out a solution, but it might take a while to get to one common agreed approach.  And while that might be frustrating at times, it is the best way for all of us to grow as individuals and to learn about our own strengths and weaknesses.  This ESC opportunity is helping me grow as an individual, recognizing the value in everyone’s view point.  We have been asked to take a very complicated problem statement and find a solution that blends multiple view points.  Not only are our views different because of our unique personal perspectives but also because of the places we come from and the influences those locations have on the way we view the world.  From France to Germany, Spain, China and the United States, we all view the world just a little bit differently which not only forces each of us to Think a little more broadly but also gives us a broader base from which to formulate a solution.  That to me is something you will not find everyday and I thank my ESC colleagues for providing this experience first hand!

Of course dropping 6 individuals into a foreign country also provides the opportunity to team build by traveling together and getting involved in out of work activities and experiences that you might not otherwise experience.  This past weekend was not just an opportunity to get out of the city and see other parts of Chile but it gave us a chance to go rafting.  I believe each of us had second thoughts about rafting when we woke up in the morning and felt the chill in the air on that fall Sunday in the Andes mountains but we decided to take our chances and explore the beauty of the Chilean Andes and the Cajón del Maipo (Maipo Canyon) by whitewater raft.  There is no better way to work as a team than to have to steer a raft down rapid waters and try not to tip it over or fall out!  What a great day and a fun trip!  We may look funny but we had a blast!

Article from Janice, Team “Smart in Paradise”

#smartercities challenge

Yes we look goofy but the instructions were key!

Yes we look goofy but the instructions were key!

Listening to the instructions of our guide and then the cadence of the leaders in front was the key to our success!

Listening to the instructions of our guide and then the cadence of the leaders in front

What a team!!

What a team!!!


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