Business is not an easy sea to sail, with storms often arising out of nowhere and unexpected problems often hindering progress. Fortunately, we as humans have learned over the years that we are stronger, smarter and more capable in groups, in which we can help each other and negate almost any weaknesses. This is why teamwork in business is more than just beneficial, but vital, and when complemented with the right tools and technology, can actually help businesses thrive.
The Power of Collective Intelligence
It is always amazing to see how humans can work together to achieve great accomplishments, such as the building of The Great Pyramids, or even just the countless videos on YouTube of entire groups of people saving individuals from dire situations. However, what many people don’t realize is that this can work for intelligence as well. As commonly seen in nature and discussed in an article by MIT Executive Education Blog, ants, bees and other insects utilize this collective intelligence to work better and more efficiently. The example showed how honey bees tend to select the very best site for pollen around 80% of the time, which no bee could do individually. By working together, these bees achieve far great efficiency and can work more effectively towards the ultimate goal – the survival of the queen and colony.
Modern Technologies and Instant Collaboration
We as humans tend to adopt traditions even if we don’t completely understand them or believe they are beneficial. This, however, has been one of the biggest problems in many businesses that are trying to keep up with modern society. In the past, collaborative work required far more effort, especially if partners or peers were in different parts of the country or world. And because many people are slow to shake off traditions, many businesses haven’t realized the power of instant visual and audio communications technologies, and tend to shy away from teamwork if it seems like too much of a hassle.
In our modern age, however, we need to start utilizing the technology that’s available to collaborate effectively, regardless of location or distance between people. Collaboration between an artist in Africa and a producer in Hong Kong is now a possibility, so start taking advantage of business video conferencing systems for IT, creative or financial departments to enjoy effective collaborations via video calls and interactive feeds. Whether you are a multinational business or simply a few people in separate offices, video conferencing technologies allow you to enjoy far more effective and personal collaboration, while having all the necessary tools right front of you.
With Teamwork, No Single Individual has to be Good at Everything
One of the greatest aspects of teamwork is that – despite the ever common saying that a “chain” is only as good as its weakest link – teamwork ensures that no individual has to be a master at everything. In reality, teamwork allows for individuals to be weak in multiple areas in which other members are strong, and they all make up for each other’s weaknesses – allowing them to achieve far more than they would have individually.
In an excellent example, as reported by Aeon, NASA leveraged the power of collaborative thinking and collective intelligence to examine images and identify craters, canyons and other landmarks. They found that the collective contributions of simple enthusiasts contributed as much as experts working in the organization could, and due to the large number actually provided more ratings than any group of professionals could.
Building Trust with more Personal Communications Technologies
Being able to communicate face-to-face, rather than simply over a voice call or email, helps nurture more personal relationships between team members. Even if the face-to-face conversation is via the internet or office network, being able to see the other person, as well as be seen yourself, ensures full attention. Whereas on a voice call one person could be doodling, working on the side or even taking another phone call simultaneously, on a video call or in a physical meeting the person has to offer their full focus.
Additionally, video calls are more personal, as facial and body gestures can also be picked up. This can reveal insights such as if one person is unsure of an idea, and encourages deeper discussions – which ultimately produces greater quality work. So consider investing in quality communications technologies to ensure more than just standard or sufficient results, but actually encourages teams to strive together for greater goals and optimal results.
Teamwork is a vital tool that we can complement with the right technologies to achieve far greater goals than ever imagined. So never underestimate the value of teamwork within your business, and consider acquiring the right tools to help your employees enjoy effective collaboration, despite any distances or barriers between them.