Enough Group Work to Sink a Ship!

Before starting business school you repeatedly hear how everything is done in teams. Needless to say, we were all on pins and needles to see who was assigned to our team at the end of orientation. During the first semester, we definitely worked in teams for a few classes, but I was surprised to find that the amount of time we spent in teams didn’t quite live up to the hype. It seemed that for the most part assignments, papers, and tests were completed individually. My team (a.k.a. C4T Consulting) worked together often – not because we were forced, but instead because we relied on each other and our individual strengths. And before I get too “team work makes dreams work”, I’d like to admit: I spoke too soon. This semester, I have been part of 4 teams – my main team for Internal Reporting (section 1) as well as Process Modelling (section 2) and Global Leadership (section 2), a different team for Consumer Behavior, another team for Environment, Society, and Capitalism, and yet a different team for Marketing Planning and Implementation. To make the situation that much more complicated – we no longer all have identical schedules to work around!

It’s awful! Woe is me! I constantly remind myself: I am not alone on this ship.

All 90+ of us are finding new ways to attack teamwork. No longer can we just set aside a time every week to work. Dr. Parker would be pleased to know how much we have adjusted our teams’ processes and operations to become the (more) efficient and well-oiled machines we are today. We delegate more, email more, and trust each other more than when we started. As a semi-secret control freak myself, this adjustment hasn’t come easily, but the necessity of the situation has required that I loosen the reigns a little bit – something I was never good at doing in the workplace. And now that I’m in the swing of things, it’s a nice feeling.

Turns out, this ship won’t sink after all.

-Sarah
sgaddis@tulane.edu

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