Teamwork – Learning from the Geese.

The key to success in any organization is working together as a team. It is same with a BPO as well. But what does it mean to work in a team?
The geese has a certain way of flying. When they fly they form a particular formation. There is a definite reason why they do that. Understanding this concept teaches us what “Team work” is all about.

Fact 1: As each goose flaps its wings it creates an “uplift” for the birds that follow. By flying in a “V” formation, the whole flock adds 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew alone.
Lesson we can learn : People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier because they are traveling on the thrust of one another.

Fact 2: When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of flying alone. It quickly moves back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front of it.
Lesson we can learn: If we have as much sense as a goose, we stay in formation with those headed where we want to go. We are willing to accept their help and give our help to others.

Fact 3: When the lead goose tires, it rotates back into formation and another goose flies to the point position.
Lesson we can learn: It pays to take turns doing the hard tasks and sharing leadership. As with geese, people are interdependent on each others skills, capabilities and unique arrangements of gifts, talents or resources.

Fact 4: The geese flying in formation honk to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.
Lesson we can learn: We need to make sure our honking is encouraging. In groups where there is encouragement, the production is much greater. The power of encouragement (to stand by one’s heart or core values and encourage the heart and core of others) is the quality of honking we seek.

Fact 5: When a goose gets sick, wounded or shot down, two geese drop out of formation and follow it to help and protect it. They stay with it until it dies or is able to fly again. Then, they launch out with another formation or catch up with the flock.
Lesson we can learn: If we have as much sense as geese, we will stand by each other in difficult times as well as when we are strong.

~Based on the work by Milton Olson

What can we learn from this?

  • We need to assist one another.
  • It is our duty to take turn to lead.
  • Learn the importance of encouraging one another in the right direction.
  • It is necessary to stand by one another in difficult times.
Photograph courtesy Toivo Lagerweij