There's No "I" in Team
By definition, teamwork is the combined action of a group of people. Whether or not that combined action is successful depends on how well the individuals in the team interact with one another. Let’s take sports for example. You could have the most talented athletes together on a team, but unless they listen to their coaches and teammates, share their ideas, help each other, and encourage one another, they will not necessarily be successful. Effective teamwork takes an understanding of the skills necessary to work together with others. At ISA Learning, we define those skills as: listen, share, help, and encourage. By understanding what each of those skills require and by putting them into practice, collaboration and teamwork become more successful.
Our team at ISA Learning is made up of diverse individuals with various backgrounds, talents, and expertise, but when we work together, wonderful things happen. This is because we practice what we preach. We listen to each other’s ideas, share our own ideas to better our products, help each other out when needed, and encourage each other to do our best every day. Our weekly Monday meeting is a good demonstration of how we practice teamwork. The entire team, from CEO to intern, sits around a table in our conference room. After key announcements, we go around the table in no particular order, and everyone gets a chance to speak on our individual assignments and activities for the week. We talk about what we are working on, progress we have made, and any help we may need to complete a project. Because we are a small startup, everyone plays a significant role, and we pride ourselves on the open communication between all departments of our company. We listen to each other, share our thoughts, offer help, and encourage one another during every meeting, and throughout each week.
At ISA Learning, we define teamwork skills as: listen, share, help, and encourage.
While we truly believe the strength of our company is in our ability to work well as team, this does not come without challenges. Being able to collaborate effectively can be quite difficult at times. At ISA Learning, our team consists of a post-doc research expert, tech developer, entrepreneur, graphic designer, former principal, former teacher, finance major, and skilled web developers. When prioritizing tasks and scoping projects, we do not always see eye to eye on what to tackle first. Obviously, all aspects of our product and product development are important, but so are the business aspects of our company. Having different backgrounds, talents, personalities, and areas of strengths is certainly a positive aspect of any company, but can also make working together more complex in terms of managing these differences. Despite our differences, one thing we all have in common at ISA Learning is the desire to bring our knowledge of collaboration and expertise in teamwork to classrooms and schools nationwide. The more we work together, learn each other’s strengths (and weaknesses), and apply our teambuilding skills, we are able to make progress and see our collaboration turn into success. As the saying goes…”There’s no ‘i’ in Team.”