5 Examples of Amazing Teamwork

January 30, 2024

Teamwork is necessary in every field of business. Although today’s teams are more diverse, dispersed, and digital, their success still depends on the fundamentals of good teamwork.

Here are five examples from companies that emphasize the importance of teamwork.

1. Google and the importance of psychological safety

How can you compile the perfect team? Google executives believed the secret was combining the best people. But it wasn’t that simple.

In 2012, they started Project Aristotle, which took several years and included interviews with hundreds of employees and data from more than 100 active teams. Ultimately, the conclusion was what competent managers have always known: In the best teams, members show sensitivity and listen to each other.

One mid-level manager wanted to put Project Aristotle’s findings into practice. He took his team off-site to talk about his cancer diagnosis. Although initially silent, his colleagues began sharing their personal stories. This dialogue enabled them to be vulnerable and learn to trust each other.

At the core of this story is the concept of psychological safety. This is a shared belief that the team is safe for interpersonal risk-taking. Google now describes psychological safety as the most important factor in building a successful team. They found it has less to do with who is on a team and more with how the members interact with one another.

2. Wynn Resort & Casino and the importance of teamwork in customer service

Steve Wynn, the founder of Wynn Resort & Casino, was staying with his family at Four Seasons in Paris. His daughter ate only half of a croissant from the room service breakfast, leaving the other half for later. When Wynn and his family returned from exploring Paris, the pastry was gone.

However, there was a message from the front desk. It said that housekeeping had removed the half croissant, assuming the family would prefer a fresh one later. The front desk then contacted the kitchen to set one aside and informed room service that they would need to deliver the pastry.

This simple response required a high level of teamwork and communication between different departments. It was only possible because hotel employees understood the ultimate goal was customer satisfaction and accepted their roles in delivering a fantastic experience.

The lesson is that teamwork is essential to excellent customer experiences because it empowers employees to be creative, intuitive, thorough, and generous. (make this sentence a pull quote)

3. Pixar: Team creativity is more important than technology

After being forced out of Apple In 1986, Steve Jobs bought a small computer manufacturer called Pixar. In 2000, he relocated the company to an abandoned canning factory that was to have three buildings with separate offices. Instead, Jobs decided to have a single vast space with an atrium in the middle.

For Jobs, the primary challenge at Pixar was getting its different cultures to work together and collaborate. He saw the separated offices as a design problem. He shifted the mailboxes to the atrium and moved the meeting rooms, cafeteria, coffee bar, and gift shop as well. Brad Bird, the director of “The Incredibles” and “Ratatouille” said, “Steve realized that when people run into each other and they make eye contact, things happen.”

The emphasis on bringing together various approaches has always been a defining trait of Steve Jobs. He insisted that the best creativity happened when people from disparate fields were connected. The Latin crest of Pixar University says it all: Alienus Non-Diutius. Alone no longer.

4. Marvel Comics: Teamwork promotes collaboration and creativity

More interesting than the superheroes of the Avengers, X-Men, or Fantastic Four, are the super-talented teams that worked to create the comic books that have gone on to break sales and box office records.

There were writers, like the famous Stan Lee, who often came up with ideas that the penciler, someone like Jack Kirby (Captain America, the Hulk, etc.) or Steve Ditko (Spider-Man and Doctor Strange) would block out in pages of dramatic sequential drawings. Then the boards would go to letterers and inkers before colorists added the primary colors. These were sent to printers next, distributed, and sold at local drug stores or comic book shops.

Not only was it necessary for each step of this process to be carefully planned among all contributors, but there also had to be collaboration between writers and artists as they developed characters and storylines. Teamwork enhanced creativity.

5. Ford: Team members unite behind a common mission

Ford needed to update and improve its automotive icon, the F-150 pickup truck, without eroding the qualities that made it a top-selling vehicle. However, the company wanted better fuel efficiency, which meant introducing economical six-cylinder engines and using an all-aluminum body.

Pete Reyes, the chief engineer for the top-secret project, explained, “We had all these parallel work teams on different aspects of the truck, and we’d meet once a month for 18 months, making sure all the work would come together into a viable vehicle.”

What was the reaction in the marketplace? Both earnings and sales went up!

Now that you’ve read these examples, how would you rate your organization? Do your team members feel psychologically safe? Do they feel empowered to provide outstanding customer service? Do they collaborate and feed off each other’s creativity? Are they united behind a common mission?

If you would like to invest in your organization by strengthening your teams, turn to AllOne Consulting. Our dynamic team of professionals has extensive experience in developing teams and leaders, creating inclusive cultures, and resolving conflicts. To learn more, visit AllOne Consulting.