August 26, 2014

It Takes a Team to Pilot a Starship

I just got back from a weekend of filming a new You Tube independent fan produced science fiction show that is set in the Star Trek: The Original Series Universe. It was a thrilling,  sleepless experience that was filled with stress, tension, and laughter. It also showed me the value of teamwork.

Everyone involved in the production pulling together made the shoot productive and ensured it stayed on point. There are a lot of behind the scenes people that make the magic happen. From the makeup crew to the prop masters, from the grips setting and running lights to the sound engineer, the director, first A.D., and director of photography, and the actors; all become a family and a team working for a greater purpose.

The crew of the Starship Challenger
Teamwork is a vital part of any success. Here are eight benefits of teamwork and why it is important to success:

1. Teamwork encourages participation and is all inclusive. One of the most important needs of all humans is the need to feel valued. When working as team, everyone involved has a part to play. Everyone is a cog in the machine and contributes to the final product. No one is made to feel less than anyone else and all views are taken into consideration.

2. Teamwork increases efficiency. When everyone has a role to play and that role is assigned by the strength of that person then work becomes more efficient. The Peter Principle is not evident in merit based teamwork. Electricians are not asked to build sets, makeup people are not asked to direct scenes, and actors are not ask to rig lights. With everyone concentrating on their special set of skills and experiences things run smoother and there are less accidents and mistakes.

3. Teamwork increases performance. Similar to reason number two, since everyone is working to their strength and knowledge mastery of skills increases and the quality of the work improves.

4. Teamwork increases understanding. Collaboration allows for cross training amongst people on the team so everyone has a better idea of what every job is, what it takes to perform the task optimally, and why it is important to the overall project.

5. Teamwork increase competency. This is very similar to reasons two and three. Being able to concentrate and focus on just your area of expertise allows you to continue to gain mastery with those skills. It also allows you to explore other ways to improve your craft.

6. Teamwork builds trust. Being part of a team requires you to have faith in others. Your success is dependent on others doing their job, and their success is built upon you doing yours. It is the ultimate in symbiotic purpose and requires an open line of communication and develops a culture of transparency.

7. Teamwork reduces stress. Going it alone and wearing many hats is stressful. Trying to do everything yourself can negatively impact your physical and emotional health. It also will reduce your productivity and efficiency. Having a team that you can delegate tasks to and who can take part of the burden from you allows you to have time to relax, decompress, and prevents burnout.

8. Teamwork allows for creative problem solving. The great thing about teamwork is it gives you a built in think tank of people with different and unique experiences who are joined together for a common goal. When a challenge or situation arises each member of the team brings their own expertise, skills, and thought process. This allows for quicker resolutions that are usually different and better solutions than one person would have come up with.

"Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results." ~ Andrew Carnegie


  1. Thanks Gary. Great information for me to think about as I prepare to do some team facilitation.

    1. You're welcome Dee. I hope your project goes well and thanks for reading.