Posts Tagged ‘Teamwork’

The Team Challenge and listening to that Voice in your Head

December 18, 2015

Team spirit

It’s that time of the year again and we are planning our ‘team day‘ to sign off another year.

This is always a special day when we discuss our plans for the new year, do a few team things together and toast the successes during the year gone by.

My team is really important to me and while this is made up of a group of individuals it is the collective that makes it so special.

We work hard to create a special atmosphere that allows a team spirit to thrive – this is always about respecting each other, working hard, having fun, encouraging, praising, supporting, celebrating special occasions, team days and every Friday we go to lunch together and break bread.

We call this #WinHappy and it is about working hard together in a good, enjoyable, supportive atmosphere – when you get this right you win with a big smile on your face!

The team spirit process starts when we recruit and we place a big emphasis on the character of the individual as well as their technical ability. In our job specifications we make it clear that we want ‘heart and soul‘ team players.

While we work hard to create that special atmosphere it will only happen when the individual plays their part, which does involve a sacrifice on their part.

Team sacrifice

Will I stay on for drinks after work, will I give up my Friday lunch, will I stay back and help, will I attend the networking event, will I give up my night and celebrate with the team? Why can’t I just punch in my time and head home once my work is done?

While I would love to say we always get it right in Fuzion and succeed in creating that special team spirit there have been times when this just hasn’t been the case. Invariably the reason for this has been that someone who doesn’t fully buy into or fit into the Fuzion ethos has started working with us and it quickly upsets the whole dynamic.

When this dynamic isn’t right it is very damaging for the whole business and everything becomes more difficult. It is like playing a match with a big weight on your back and at the time you realise that something is wrong but often it’s not a very easy thing to sort out.

When it is not right you end up with unhealthy cliques, sniping and personal agendas, people not helping each other, upset and stress, jealousy, silly games, poor work and a lack of commitment. This will impact on the quality of the work at some point.

Even worse in our own business I have witnessed the transformation of great, positive people into disheartened, unmotivated and disruptive individuals in a matter of months when the wrong atmosphere develops. Just one person who isn’t the right fit can change everything.

On each of the few occasions when this happened it has been quite easy to pinpoint the individuals who upset the team balance and in every single case during the recruitment process I can recall that clear voice in my head saying “they are not a fit for Fuzion” or  “this just doesn’t feel right“.

In each of these scenarios I forced myself to ignore the voice in my head when the evidence on their CV’s was so strong convincing me that they would be a great fit for Fuzion – none of these appointments have ever worked out!

I wonder if each of the individuals themselves knew they weren’t a fit? –  I guess when you need a job you too can ignore these voices.

I’m looking forward to our team day, to enjoying the year ahead together and making sure that I always listen to those reliable voices.. 

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion PR, Marketing and Graphic Design, with offices in Dublin and Cork

Big, Bold, Brave ….Belief

January 28, 2014

The .com domain name for Greg Canty can be registered with Register365 for the total price of €8.95 per annum.

The .com domain is the big one, the universal one, which is easy to register and without any fuss. For example with the Irish domain .ie you need to jump a few hoops and at least make some attempt at proving that you or your business has a valid reason for being able to claim that name.

The frenzy at the beginning of the internet boom was the practice of some very clever people anticipating which domain names would be popular in the future. They purchased these in the hope that at some point in time they might earn a windfall when they could sell them off for big money.

A lot of domain names are still registered to people who will never use them and are still waiting for their big pay day!

According to Wikipedia the top ten most expensive domain names are:

  1. $35 million in 2007 
  2. $16 million in 2009 
  3. for $14 million in October 2010
  4. 2008 £9.99 million
  5. 2007 $9.5 million
  6. by Facebook for $8.5 million in November 2010
  7. for $7.5 million in December 1999
  8. 2006 $7.5 million
  9. 2004 $7 million
  10. 2008 $5.88 million

It looks like the last big money transaction was in 2010.

What would make you pay this kind of huge money for a domain name?

  • It must be a core part of your brand and who you are – so much so that you can’t have anyone else using it and must get your hands on it
  • It must have huge earning potential in order to justify such a huge price tag – unless of course you have so much money that earnings are not a critical part of the equation

Even if these two elements are in place do you have the resources to pay out big money for a domain name and this must be weighed up against what you could do with this amount of money – could you make your existing domain name or a new name just as powerful if that fund was put being a marketing campaign?

Big, Bold, Brave

Teamwork LogoLast week I was at the Guinness Store House (a strange experience for me – I could see my old office from the top floor) for the launch of a domain name by a Fuzion client and great friends of mine, Digital Crew.

The guys have an incredible cloud based project management application called TeamworkPM, which only after a few years is creating a storm online and is quickly becoming the standard within the sector for managing projects.

These guys from Cork had paid over half a million euros for the domain name and were celebrating with friends and clients – at 9pm the new domain name was set live.

When I first heard this news I thought someone was pulling a fast one on me and when I realised it was true I wondered if they had totally lost their marbles!

This was certainly a BIG move, they are paying and playing big, they are thinking big (huge!) but then again they have a global product so it is a big market. What’s more they have big plans to develop a whole suite of products under the Teamwork name. 

It was definitely a BOLD move …they aren’t a Google, a Facebook, a Microsoft, a Twitter but this was a big bold move, which shows that they see themselves in that Premier league table.

BRAVE ….I’m not sure if I could have written that cheque!

To be fair to these guys this is isn’t the first time that they have been Big, Bold and Brave.

When Digital Crew were working on their core web development business and on some complex web projects they realised they needed a project management application to help co-ordinate their teams and the multiple tasks that were required. After playing with a few different applications online they decided ….these aren’t good enough, we can do better!

While ideas are great and we all have them, the guys got together at weekends and late in the evenings when the regular client work was done and starting building a new application.

After an incredibly hard slog the application TeamworkPM was ready, which they politely rolled out.

There was no immediate success but they interacted with customers, answered countless queries, joined discussions, tracked competitors, improved their product over and over and eventually they had momentum with some serious businesses coming on board and using the application – Walt Disney, Microsoft, EA Sports, Forbes and eBay to name a few.

Word of mouth, continuous improvements and dogged determination brought TeamworkPM to a point where the income from the application had surpassed their core business income.

They made an incredibly Big, Bold and Brave move to divest of their core business and put everything into their TeamworkPM application. Every month there is a big new feature added, which is a challenge they set for themselves.

Within a year they have added significantly to the team and even sent one of the founders to take office in New Zealand (poor Sam – we all know he hates the glorious weather and the beach!)so another time zone could be looked after.

While they have been making Big, Bold and Brave moves for a long time the decision to pay over half a million euros for the domain name is about something much more.

They have incredible BELIEF in what they are doing, in their own capability and in their vision. They know exactly where they are taking their business.

To Dan, Peter, Sam, Billy and all the Teamwork team …..thanks for showing us what Big, Bold and Brave looks like. My belief is your domain will be worth it!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin

This is my “Colleague”

April 6, 2012

Fuzion gang

At what point did we end up being work “colleagues“?

I must admit that it never sits well with me when I hear the word “colleague” being used during introductions of co-workers at meetings or functions.

Is it just me or am I the only one who thinks it is the worst, dispassionate, unfeeling way to introduce someone you work with?

When I the hear the words being used I automatically think that we just “work together” and that’s about as far as any bond goes – maybe I am over analysing it but I feel it lacks emotion, depth and personally it leaves me cold.

In some organisations maybe that is the reality (I’ve worked in places like that!) but at best the “introduction” words used should convey something positive that reflects the spirit of the organisation.

So … What is the right language to describe someone you work with?

Fuzion team

The one that works best for me when I really think about it is the description “team-mate” – after all, we are on the same team, fighting for the same cause, we don’t have to particularly like each other (it obviously helps that you do like and respect who you work with) but we do wear the same jersey and the word does have a strong positive association to it.

It still feels strange to use the description as it seems to be reserved for a sporting context but even on websites and on credentials documents we often see the words “our team” being used and you see people say things like “our dedicated team will look after you” ..

… we don’t normally see a section describing the personnel as “colleagues“, but I guess you will often see in emails “one of my colleagues will contact you” … awful, maybe I am wrong?

If you use the right words it can be a powerful way in describing what kind of organisation you are.

Is it just me? .. how do you describe the people you work with?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Breaking bread together

November 30, 2011
Fuzion PR

Where will we go to lunch today?

Every Friday the team at Fuzion go to lunch together – we call it Fuzion Friday!

No matter what happens, no matter how busy we are we keep Friday precious and break bread together. Its a time when we chill out for a while, chat about the week, relax, crack a few jokes and simply bond over a bite of grub and yes, if we’re not too much under pressure we will share a bottle of vino.

We started this tradition a number of years back when it was just me, Dee and Ali in the team and somehow we never stopped and now the whole bunch of us go – that’s 9 of us when we are all together! Sometimes we might bring a client along and even the odd brave journalist has been known to join us. When things were very tight financially (when aren’t they!) the crew came to us and suggested that maybe we should stop this practice as it was probably costing us too much.

For us the ritual of sharing a meal together and de-stressing, just for a while every week is too precious and worth too much not to do.  I look forward to it so much – it’s a simple ritual that signifies we have pulled together as a team through another busy week. After all what is the point if we can’t do this?

I have worked in small companies and I have worked in large organisations and for me the most important thing is being happy – we spend so much of our time in work it is vital that we enjoy who we work with and that we enjoy a happy atmosphere together. For the most part my working life has been in good places with a good atmosphere but I have also experienced the total opposite. If that is you then “get out” – it will eat you up.

Now, don’t get me wrong – we do have our moments when we are under stress and everything isn’t Utopia (invoice day!) but to be honest they are more the exception.

I work with a great bunch, I will always protect the positive atmosphere because I just couldn’t bear the opposite – life is just too short to be unhappy at work.

I started this blog to share a particular story with you but realised half way through that the story of breaking bread together was worth a stage all of its own. I’ll tell you the other story next week!

Break bread with your team this week .. 


Greg Canty is a  parter of Fuzion