If we win, who will lose?

Together we win does not necessarily mean that everyone else will lose. It means that I will lose if I try to win alone, at all costs and regardless of others. Do you know any team player who can win alone against another team? I do not. No company manager or politician can win alone. I cannot be a happy husband if my wife is unhappy. A friend requires friends. A winning team is where the team value is greater than the sum of the individuals.

Can't I win alone? What can you learn when you hear a manager on the train aggressively complaining about his or her staff’s laziness? You can easily tell that mistrust has crept into that team. Sometimes we can also infer whether the problem is perceived to be an active obstruction or indifference from some team members. At other times, I may be able to tell whether the manager is complaining about lack of coordination or cooperation. Who is losing? All those team members, including the manager, and the firm will lose too.

 Why “We” and not “I”? Progress and innovation nowadays require collective intelligence and mutual learning. Albert Einstein worked alone, therefore it took some time to develop his immense theory. But this was how innovation was conceived a century ago. Today, there must be a process of creation within a team where co-innovation means that you "connect the different minds and create the future" (I like the fact that this is the Expo Dubai theme in 2020). In other words, innovation in many cases will no longer be the achievement of one individual but of teamwork, on-site or on-line. At a much faster speed and diffusion rate than Einstein's Theory of general relativity.

 Why adding “together”? What can you learn if you hear an employee expressing anger at his/her boss or colleagues, or frustration or dissatisfaction that cannot be constructively channeled into the team? How depressing it is to hear a woman or man complaining to another person – or on the phone with their mother - about her husband or his wife. Why is it so increasingly difficult to talk and understand each other? Clearly the team - family or work team - including the leader, require some fixing. Otherwise, even if the team sold the best product, used the best systems and had the best manual of procedure, it would be doomed to fail. Even if their organization, governance or business model were the best, there would be a problem of sustainability because of team(s) malfunctioning.

 The personal stories we hear around us, teach us that we should never underestimate team difficulties, disengagement and lack of collaboration. We all know it is easier to control machines, rules, procedures and data than human beings. However unless one thinks that everything can be digitalized and human beings are redundant, we have to find a sustainable way to promote and motivate teams, networks and communities.