Refining and developing our team culture

Over in the Newington ICT Blog, I shared these thoughts. It’s important enough that I wanted to also post it here.

Working in an ICT team is never easy. The environment is tough: constantly changing needs and context, new skills to acquire, different perspectives, life stages, priorities, and professional aspirations.

The following outlines our shared understanding of what drives us, what keeps us together and what helps us achieve great things at the College.

Our vision is that students, staff and families of Newington College will be empowered by technology to create, organise and connect. Our mission is to provide outstanding experiences for boys, parents and staff with a service that is professional and friendly.

We know that how we work together has a greater impact on our overall effectiveness than our technical skills or the systems that we use. When others look at us they need to see a quality team that works together well through or in spite of our rich diversity.

We want to be characterised by:

  • Respect: professional, warm and professional relationships with each other and with our clients
  • Integrity: we care, we do what we say, we follow up
  • Expert knowledge: balancing breadth (‘jack of all trades’) with depth (expert solutions)
  • Passion
  • Honest reflection driving personal growth
  • Relentless commitment to service quality
  • Generousity: prioritising our clients and our colleagues before ourselves

We experiment, we tinker, we try new things.

We’re tolerant of failure – if we don’t stuff up sometimes it means we’re not pushing hard enough.

We share our learning, our triumphs, our mistakes.

We’re not all the same. Some have knowledge and experience in programming, others in networks, others with servers, others with classroom tech. That reflects our passions and backgrounds. It provides us opportunities to learn new things from each other.

We know that communication is hard and needs continual work to be effective.

We all have the same shared goal; the same reason to be here. We must all be pointed in the same direction.

We strive to improve and to fight against destructive tendencies like:

  • Focusing on the deficiencies of others rather than our own personal growth
  • Applying ‘band-aid’ solutions or leaving things half-finished– leading to poor client experiences and re-work by us or our colleagues
  • Flying solo (working alone; keeping knowledge to ourselves)
  • Waiting to be told what to do
  • Staying within our comfort zone

In our culture as in all things we’ll need to continually improve, adjust and adapt. The work never ends…