Alchemex Values Part 6: Teamwork by Gary Boddington

I think by now everyone at Alchemex knows the strong philosophy we have regarding the need to work as a team to achieve success and, as we continue our integration into the world wide Sage family, I believe even more strongly than ever that we have an enormous opportunity to show the power of team work and how we can succeed as a small but powerful team in a global organization operating in a global market.

Babe Ruth, probably the most decorated baseball player ever with the most individual records in the game, said, “The way a team plays as a whole determines its success.  You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.” We all know that the path to our success at Alchemex to date has been paved by the strength of our team and now more than ever we need to stand together to face the challenges which will come our way. I sincerely believe that we are in the fortunate position of having grown and matured as a team and now we have the opportunity to become a team of super stars on a world stage. The following qualities of super teams demonstrate what I mean and the challenge for all of us is to acknowledge these, embrace them, and make them a part of our everyday life:

  • Super teams are persistent and obsessive in the pursuit of their goals, but creatively flexible in their strategies for getting there. They are continuously returning to the question, “What are we trying to achieve?”
  • Super teams confront people or situations which lie in their path – they are tenacious and inventive in their efforts to remove all obstacles.
  • Super teams are committed to quality in performance and all aspects of team working. They have very high expectations of themselves and of others.
  • Super teams display significant understanding of the strategy and philosophy of their parent organization or that part of it which is important to their success.
  • Super teams are inspired by a vision of what they are trying to achieve. This provides a strong sense of purpose and direction. They also have a realistic strategy for turning the vision into reality.
  • Super teams actively build formal and informal networks which include people who matter to them and who can help them.
  • Super teams make themselves visible and accessible to others. They communicate strongly what they stand for, but they welcome advice and comments from outside.
  • Super teams are driven by success. They exude the energy, excitement and commitment that being successful releases. They also thrive on the recognition that success brings.
  • Super teams are action oriented. They respond quickly and positively to problems and opportunities and are optimistic even when the going gets tough. But above all they don’t wait for things to happen to them. They go out and make things happen.
  • Super teams are committed to the success of their parent organization. They thrive in an open culture where responsibility and authority is delegated to them to produce agreed results.
  • Super teams have a significant influence on the parent organization. The power to influence is not based on formal authority but on the teams’ credibility. Team and organization feed off and learn from each other.
  • Super teams work best with principles and guidelines as procedures rather than rules. In this way they preserve one of their key qualities – Flexibility.
  • Super teams distinguish the important from the urgent, and while valuing change and flexibility will make routine those activities which can be dealt with most effectively in that way.
  • Super teams value leaders who maintain the teams’ direction, energy and commitment. They expect the leader, with their help, to fight for support and resources from key figures within the parent organization.
  • Super teams are able to sustain communication and momentum as well when they are working apart as when they are working together.
  • Super teams pride themselves on being creative and innovative and on being prepared to take legitimate risks in order to achieve significant gains.
  • Super teams understand why they are successful but are never satisfied with that. They are constantly looking for ways to ‘do things better’.
  • Super teams value people for their knowledge, competence and contributions rather than for status and position.
  • Super teams will always try to work with others rather than working for or against others.
  • Super teams sometimes seem arrogant – and this can be the cause of their downfall!

One of the best lessons I have learnt through business and sport, and it applies equally in each of our personal lives, is captured in a quote which I have shared often: “Winners Make it Happen, Losers Let it Happen”. What we are trying to achieve in this next phase of Alchemex is not just going to happen because we are now part of a big group like Sage. We should not just expect everything to fall into place. Let’s take matters into our capable teams’ hands – and do whatever it takes to succeed. Our products are world-class, our processes are world-class and our team is absolutely world-class. Let’s not sit around waiting for things to happen now – let’s take the challenge head on and MAKE THINGS HAPPEN as a team.