Category: team work


Part of the Team Near or Far

A few weeks ago I was having a conversation with Computer Explorers lead curriculum writer, Roz Shafer. She was saying how she felt a little out of touch with the corporate team. Granted, it had only been a few months since her visit for the Computer Explorers annual conference but since she works from home she was feeling a little left out of the daily happenings.

Roz suggested something a little unique. She wanted to use her frequent flyer miles to visit our corporate office in Texas. She believed that if she spent a week “in the office” she would feel more connected. In all honesty, I suggested she use the free miles and take a vacation to Bermuda or some fun place. Roz lives in upstate New York and had just lived through tremendous rain and flooding and said that coming to Texas would be a vacation!

We laid out a plan of work for the week she would be here. We were pleased that she could arrive on the  weekend to enjoy the sunshine, heat and humidity that she was missing. As with all well thought out plans, execution can only happen with no interferences.

Texas is experiencing the worst drought in 100 years. That was until Roz arrived. For some unknown reason, we received rain! Not enough to take us out of our drought but certainly enough to interfere with a trip to the beach or time to enjoy the pool. There went the weekend plans but Roz rolled with the weather and enjoyed what little sunshine there was.

On Monday our plan included a strategic meeting with Cyndee Perkins, Curriculum and Program Development Director to discuss curriculum projections. Interference number 2: Cyndee called in sick! In the seven years I have worked with Cyndee she has never taken a sick day. As much as Cyndee wanted to be here she was just too sick to come into the office for two days.

Roz, Cyndee, Kris, Lorri, Deb and Kathy at team meeting

Roz didn’t lack work. She brought her curriculum units with her since her plan was to work from the CE corporate office vs working from home.  Monday, 8am started with a curriculum 911 issue from the field. Roz was able to step right in and resolve the situation. It took her two full days due to the amount of work but she completed it by hunkering down into an empty office near the Computer Explorers team. She conveniently walked back and forth to talk to the team as needed.  She was also able to attend our weekly staff meeting in person and we accomplished a great deal as a team.

Roz wanted to feel, hear, see and be part of the daily activity of the corporate team. Suffice it to say, she accomplished that goal. She worked hard and left with a understanding of what our day-to-day activities involved. When it was time to leave we were sad but Roz was more than happy to return to her home office! She had a week of the corporate life. She said it was fun for a short time but she looked forward to returning home to own routines and schedules.

She continues to attend our weekly staff meetings but does so via video Skype!  She says she still has frequent flyer miles to use so we expect another visit when winter hits upstate New York.

Don’t Blink!

I love the video that represents a year with COMPUTER EXPLORERS. In less than 35 seconds it documents a sampling of our year of meetings, conferences, events and classes.

Colin Powell said, “None of us can change our yesterdays, but ALL of us can change our tomorrows!”

As 2010 was coming to an end the COMPUTER EXPLORERS corporate team  spent time looking at the year. We reviewed our accomplishments and yes our challenges. We read Les McKeown’s blog post “Three Steps To Writing Your Strategic Plan This Weekend.”  Each of us downloaded and listened to his 40 minute teleclass. Click here to his blog post.

We know we can’t change yesterday but we are working hard to make improvements and changes to 2011.

We are still working on our 2011 plan and will publish our goals to the system before we close for the holiday. In the usual COMPUTER EXPLORERS fashion it will accompany a holiday video message.

Using “10 Predictable Success Strategic Year-end Questions” we:

  1. Changed our weekly staff meetings from Monday to Thursday. (May seem like a minor change but it has improved our productivity in our meetings tremendously!)
  2. Review what the worse thing we did last week/month/year and work to fix it.
  3. Ask ourselves weekly to measure our success individually and as a team. We hold each other accountable!

Plotting our vision and goals is not a simple task. In my opinion it is a task that is ongoing and ever-changing.

With a blink of the eye 2011 will pass us by if we are not careful in our planning!