Why your team needs a cool “Name”
A team name can start the process of creating a culture for your team. Every team has a culture, and the leader has a huge impact on that culture.
In my opinion, the name shouldn’t be something like the “The Fluffy Pink Unicorns” because it may not be that inclusive. However, if it builds camaraderie and brings people together, than it should be “The Fluffy Pink Unicorns!”
Let’s say you just took over the Finance Department at your company. You get your team together and you say stuff like, “We’re going to win because we are the Finance Department.” “We count numbers, and can put the best spreadsheets together, and pivot tables that anybody has ever seen.”
Maybe these phrases get your team fired up, and you go out and create the best pivot tables anybody has ever seen. However, more than likely that’s not going to happen.
If you are running the Finance Department and you want to begin to create a culture with your team, think about a team name! You could be the Number Crunchers, or Dynamite Digits. You get the idea.
Don’t do this the first day you take over as a new manager. You need to get to know the people on your team and feel them out. If you roll in the first day and announce that your team will now be the Number Crunchers, you are likely going to get a lot of push back.
Once you start to understand the different personalities on your new team, bring up the subject of giving your department a cool name. You need buy-in from the people on your team. You will normally not get everybody to agree on a name, but as long as you can get a majority to buy-in, go for it. You could have a voting box in a common area of the office so your team can all cast their vote on what they want to be called.
Once you get the name established you can start to have fun with it! I absolutely love a huddle when every team member puts their hand in the middle. You see this all the time with sports teams, and the reason they do it is because it works. There is something awesome that happens when humans touch and connect with each other.
Your team name will allow you to develop unique cheers that you can do together. You can start to do quick stand up meetings, instead of the boring sit at a conference table meetings. After your stand up meeting, you can do a quick huddle with everybody’s hand in the middle and have someone say, “Beat the deadline on three, 1–2–3”, then everyone yells “Beat the deadline”. Or, “Number Crunchers on three, 1–2–3.” “Number Crunchers!” You can be as creative as you want, but the idea is that you’re creating teamwork and a culture for your team.
If you get this going, you have to ensure that you maintain buy-in to the team name, huddles, cheers, etc. You could even create a mascot.
At one of the positions I held, my team had a mascot. I had gone to a school fair with my kids and my daughter had me play one of the games and I won a life size green alien. My wife said that he couldn’t live with us, so she suggested I take him to work. My kids named him Gordon and as a joke I placed him at an empty desk in the office. When my team came in that day they loved their new team member. He didn’t talk on the phone too loud and he didn’t drink the last of the coffee. As time went on, my team made a name card for Gordon and decorated his cubicle as if he were a real member of the team. I left that position a couple years later and Gordon was still working away.
In order for this all to work, you have to provide a clear vision, goal, and objectives for your team, and if you actually care about your team and they believe it, then you can pull this off.
It’s the leader’s responsibility to create teamwork and a culture for their team. Don’t just let events unfold. Get excited about the impact you are having on your employees. Get excited about beating deadlines with your team. Get excited about improving your team members lives. Bring them together with a team name and create a winning culture.
What do you do to create a winning culture?
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