I heard a college professor say the three things you need to have coming out of college are:
Good writing skills
Strong speaking skills
An ability to work in groups
Those are the same three traits that apply to working at GCS.
There is both an art and a science to working in groups. You know working in groups is effective when everyone leaves the meeting with a benefit. Here are some principles to running a good meeting:
Have an agenda with each subject having a time frame and a leader, otherwise the meeting tends to drift toward the most popular subject.
Make sure the meeting starts with everyone saying something. Silence begets silence. You want everyone to feel comfortable contributing.
Be nice. Ask open ended questions. Encourage brainstorming.
Stay on message. Begin with the end in mind and stay on the subject at hand.
Use collaboration language such as “have we considered this,” “who is an expert in that.”
Use a whiteboard. Drawing up the ideas will help connect the meaningful parts toward a solution.
The best collaborative efforts include these time tested principles. For example, in July we had a brainstorming session about increasing production hours. We used all the principles of collaboration and created the Flex Shift program. Other GCS differentiators including Self-Coaching, Straight Talk and Blending are initiatives created and improved by collaboration in small groups.
GCS is really good at collaboration. We took the Meetings 101 class and made an “A!”