At Team Academy, team is quite literally in the name. We believe that the future is collaborative and interdisciplinary. One of our favourite sayings is “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Some of our third-year students wrote a reflection on the power of diverse perspectives in a team. Thanks, Justin & Marco for your thoughts! If you’re interested in hearing more about what they’re up to you can follow Marco here and Justin here.
If you want to follow their team, Team Rocket, check them out on Instagram here.
A Team Point of View
In diverse teams, you will find a variety of opinions and perspectives. Team diversity provides each teammate with an opportunity to learn about how complex concepts are seen through other people’s eyes. By learning and enriching your perspective, teams provide the support, energy and creativity to generate high-quality solutions that are unimaginable when working alone.
A perfect example comes from a recent team discussion we had. The topic was business, what does doing business entail? How should we use it? Can it create large scale change? Should it represent change at all?
During the discussion, different perspectives came together to form an accurate picture of what we experience when working in an international team of aspiring young entrepreneurs.
For Justin (21, Dutch, Organisational Privacy), business is a way of approaching the external world. A way of creating while also receiving value. For him, it’s all about serving the world and using business as a tool to contribute in an effective way. It’s a way of creating opportunities for himself, but more importantly, it’s about creating opportunities for others. Robert Kennedy once said, “The purpose of life is to contribute in some ways to make things better”. Well, it sounds like Robert would be more than happy to have Justin on his team.
For Emma (22, South African, Bloom Box Platters, Almond Cottage ) business is something thrilling: An opportunity to create change in a system that you don’t agree with. It’s a feeling of entering the unknown, a chance to take risks as you move forward. It can be a terrifying dream which represents an uncertain journey. A journey which is more about your personal development than anything else. Starting a business is a way of developing yourself as a person, but also as a professional. Business is supposed to be fun while creating the world of tomorrow. Dwight’s Eisenhower’s words fit Emma’s perspective perfectly “Accomplishments will prove to be a journey, not a destination”.
For Marco (24, Norwegian, Human Performance) business is a force for good. It is a way of lifting society to a more equal and just level where opportunities are shared fairly amongst all people. Using modest businesses as a force for good to create a sustainable infrastructure that can create dramatic yet realistic solutions to large scale problems facing the world at the moment.
Oliver (21, Kenyan, Listing Management and Property Investment) provides a different perspective. He argues that business is about exploring the world and himself. It’s about discovering the adventures that the world has to offer. Starting a business gives him an opportunity to master his own determination and self-reliance. Lastly, starting a business creates the chance to support the next generation and the people closest to him.
Lastly, for Job (22, Dutch, Productive & Creative Thinking) business is a way of expressing thoughts and ideas. These ideas are presented to an audience with the same goals and aspirations who can take them even further than the creator had ever dreamed. Doing business is a repeatable model viable for any product or service. It’s a process of accepting the iterations that are necessary to create a successful solution. It’s about getting out of your comfort zone and get into the habit of being uncomfortable, in order to do what is necessary to scale. For Job, a product that hasn’t been tested with clients isn’t a viable product yet.
All these perspectives come together in just one team of diverse personalities, cultures and backgrounds. Imagine what you could achieve with a network of teams where everyone has the freedom to share and learn from each other’s perspective! Perhaps, in the end, that’s what business is all about. Smoothly written down on a piece of cardboard in Team Academy`s library, behind all the business books, there’s a powerful definition from an anonymous soul:
“People do business with people because they choose to. We can always find others doing the same thing or selling the same product. It’s the personal connection that makes the difference in business. It’s the business of relationships”.
What does business mean to you?