It’s Everywhere!

Remember the last time you heard an idea for the first time – or bought a new car or heard the really unusual name your friends gave their baby?  After that, you kept hearing it or seeing it over and over.

I have been the happy victim of this phenomenon* over the last few weeks.

  • I reviewed some useful business texts and re-discovered a favorite teamwork concept: Somebody, Nobody, Everybody.
    • If Somebody on the team makes a mistake, needs help, etc. – and Nobody steps up – then Everybody loses. Alternatively, if Somebody helps correct that mistake or clean up the mess or share information – then Everybody wins.
  • A colleague shared some ideas about what her organization calls “team service.” Hers is a food service business.  One example made her point:
    • The work standard is that guests are not served their entrée while empty appetizer dishes remain on the table. Team service directs that no matter your title or position, when a guest has finished an appetizer, you step up to remove that plate. You do not look away or pretend you didn’t notice the empty plate.  Team service reflects well on everyone.
  • A friend described a recent positive experience as a hotel guest. While she was complimenting one of the individuals who had served her well, he shared:
    • As an individual contributor, he can fully control two things: service and cleanliness. He understands that his consistent attention to getting those two things right helps his team and the entire hotel.

Over the next several weeks, I will continue to observe more situations that support what these episodes demonstrate: that we each need others on our teams to succeed.  Details will vary but each situation will offer opportunities to learn, build skills and reinforce knowledge.  What a happy phenomenon.

* In case you’re wondering – as I would be wondering – the phenomenon has been named.  The term Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon was invented in 1994.  Then in 2006, the more colloquial “frequency illusion” term was coined.