Taking inspiration from such an amazing collaborative effort between academia, researchers, formula 1 engineers and no doubt others who deserve a mention, this effort needs to be celebrated and praised and held up as a role model for multi-functional teamworking and output.


I wonder what obstacles they had to overcome? I can only imagine but here is my take on some of the issues such a team effort would normally have had to deal with in ‘business as usual’ times:


Egos – Looking at the list of people involved, the credentials are impressive, but I would imagine that humility ran central to their personal contributions.


Trust – Everyone involved were no doubt tasked with solving their bit of the ‘puzzle’ and again I would imagine that each person / team had to trust that everyone did what was asked of them and to the best of their ability.


Fixed mindset – Something that creative and innovative outputs need to overcome and reframing opportunities in a Growth mindset way of being, that is looking for possibilities rather than we tried that before but ….  A growth mindset approach helps to tap into our imagination.


Intellectualising – Again linked to ‘egos’ above, I have worked with teams of academics and highly skilled professional people.  Sometimes we enjoy spending time discussing the intellectual aspects of a situation and that is great for furthering the wider body of knowledge about that issue, but the challenges that Covid-19 are throwing at every aspect of our daily lives demand a more pragmatic and practical approach.


Silo mentality – Put together a multi-functional team, give them a brief to achieve a specific goal, timescale and resources sounds like any project team assignment.  But how often do projects fail or over-run their budgets or timescales?  Silo mentality sets in when performance measures drive the process and blame starts to prevail – “We did our bit but the X sub-team failed to produce Y and so stopped us from achieving Z“.   If we remember that teams work together to produce an output for a particular purpose and it is that purpose that should drive the team’s productivity and performance.  I am pretty sure the team(s) working on the CPAP project didn’t need to be reminded of their common purpose.


These issues are not definitive and in reality, there would be more or different issues to deal with in any collaborative effort but for me this shows what can be done when the ‘chips are down’.


Why don’t we all make a pact with ourselves and those we work with that when life starts to find its rhythm again that we remember the new ways of working we are all having to embrace and the positive effects and outputs we can co-create together and resolve to continue to apply them within our new normal.


What new ways of working are you adopting that you would never have thought possible pre Covid-19?


We would love to hear from you.


Please get in touch


Dr Gill Stevens


Level Seven:

Our purpose is to help organisations and their people be the best they can.

Our passion is the convergence of design thinking and coaching.

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