Strategic Systems Team away day, April 2017

Posted in: Computing Services

It can be difficult to decide when the best time for an away day is but we felt it was a great opportunity for us.  We are a new team, I’m a new manager and new staff have joined our team recently. We make up the Strategic Systems team and we look after our IT systems in Accommodation, Hospitality & Estates, Finance and HR & Payroll.

With the decision made to take up this chance, we gathered in the large rehearsal room in the Edge and Amanda Wylie (Head of Staff Development) asked us to depict our team dynamic in the form of interpretive dance.

Not really – that’s for next time (are you with me, team?).

Instead, Amanda engaged us in a more gentle way, with a series of questions to ask each other. It emerged that Eddie had met the Pope, Chris keeps a collection of caterpillars, and my most inspiring place is the Jewish Museum in Berlin.

ICS psychometric scheme

Amanda then described the ICS psychometric scheme – a very simple colour related way to analyse our preferred ways to interact with the world, with work, and how this can affect the way we work together. We were then asked to put ourselves into groups according to what colour we felt we were. A big group of blue, which is not that surprising for a bunch of systems developers.  For those not initiated into this, I will summarise blue people in the following way:

·         we like bullet points.

We did have a couple of yellows (more likely to prefer interpretive dance) and one very much between to declare one way.

It is interesting I think to reflect on the differences between us regarding our ‘secondary’ colours. Though dyed in the wool blue (nothing to do with the Tories I hasten to add) I also have a lot of yellow.  This means I can be a bit more easy-going and spontaneous than some ‘blue’ people, but also a bit chaotic and disorganised. Others in the team have green tinges – more aware of us as a community and the needs of others. Those of us with a bit of red also can get frustrated by delays and too much agonising over details.

We also did a couple of exercises using a rope and blind-folds. Entirely about how a group works together, you understand.

Towards the end we were asked to discuss what is working well and what is not, what the team need from me as a manager and what I need from them, what we appreciate and what we need more and less of from each other. Some useful points came out of this. I think there were a lot of positive feelings expressed and some useful pointers regarding improvements and development.

Thank you for the day, to my team and to our customers

There has been less time to reflect than perhaps we hoped for.  Fixing the issues that resulted from weekend work has been more important and we thank our customers for their understanding during this time.  However, the overall feeling was very positive and we feel we know each other better and are more at ease.  I feel proud of all of us and grateful to my team for their positive spirit and willingness to fully participate in this workshop. Amanda facilitated this wonderfully, and I hope to do something similar in a few months or so.

Posted in: Computing Services


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