*disclaimer* The picture is not for a real estate listing, just ride with me and it will all make sense when you reach the end. 😉
One of the most clichéd phrases ever is “There is no I in team”, though one of my Business Analysts, Jenny, begs to differ. 🙂 For any of the 365,000+ employees at Target, TEAMWORK is a core tenet of our culture. While we are all talented individuals, just like a puzzle, you can only appreciate the true beauty of your work when we all come together.
As all of the leaders across Target Technology Services work to build their teams on a daily basis, one of my peers and I decided to take a joint approach by bringing our business technology teams together. With various new team members on both teams including the two of us, this was a great way to get to know each other, “Fast Fun and Friendly” style. So what better way to start our bonding than a junk food lunch of pizza, soda, chips, cookies, cupcakes and candy? Now while all of our business analysts love their daily roles of capturing business requirements, partnering with the product managers/engineers, one of the ground rules was “Do not talk about work”.……This lead to a plethora of topics flying around the room such as small game hunting, discussions about hot dishes (for those not from Minnesota like me, that’s just a casserole) and the parents in the room debating the merits of giving kids sugary cereals for meals (in my house I can only imagine telling my mom I wanted Cocoa Puffs for dinner). From the head shaking, laughing and harmless banter, this definitely was a relaxed and comfortable lunch environment.
After having our fill of nutrition, we went to the COOLEST place on earth (No, we didn’t take our teams to Disneyworld, but it would have been funny to see our leadership’s faces when we tried to submit expense reports for that). We ventured to the Target Plaza Commons, which is the hip, cool and trendy new facility located across from our downtown headquarters building if you didn’t stop reading awhile back, now the picture comes into play). Picture an awesome work-sanctioned hangout space with video games, huge flat screen tvs, ping pong, basketball court, human size chess pieces, fitness center, fireplaces, lounge chairs, food, etc. On a Friday afternoon, this looked to be the happening spot as our peers were all over the place chatting, working, etc.
From the start you could see the competitive natures of our teams whether it was foosball, shuffleboard or the ever popular old-school arcade games. I walked away the champion of Ms. Pacman (better luck next time Amy). We even took a crack at Call of Duty, which I quickly admit I had no idea what I was doing….too many buttons on the PS3 and after about 20 minutes, I think Ruchin and I actually ran across each other only once….the majority of the time was walking in circles, jumping off ledges losing power and shooting at the walls.
After wandering around enjoying the countless options for fun, we all ended in front of the huge flat screen tv for the culminating exhibition of teamwork in the form of Angry Birds for the PS3. After marveling at the graphics versus what we are used to seeing on our smartphone/tablets it became a collaborative effort to progress through the challenging levels. It was great to see everyone coaching each other on angle of attack, which pigs to hit first and pats on the back for ‘almost’ clearing the board.
As we wrapped up our day, wandering through the skyway back to our office it was cool to see the conversations continuing as we all earned a little bit more about each other and what it meant to function as a team. While I will always encourage each person on my team to be themselves, there is always a point where we can achieve more by functioning as a unit. So Jenny, though your diagram on my whiteboard shows the “I” you found in team, nobody in business technology teams merchandising is buying it. 🙂
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