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  • Writer's pictureTommy Cicero

A concerted effort

"If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself."

Successful large-scale projects and events require big commitments by a group of dedicated people. Building a banquet hall or planning a wedding can provide separate roadblocks and setbacks along the way. The larger the project, the bigger the team. The bigger the team, the more important communication and collaboration becomes to complete the job successfully. It's no secret that "teamwork makes the dreamwork." It can help immensely while working together toward a common goal.

When I was a career advisor at University of Illinois at Chicago we would host large engineering career fairs, with more than 1,500 students and 100 organizations interacting nonstop for six hours. It was quite the spectacle to observe and help organize. A great deal of planning was required to make sure the event flowed smoothly while accommodating the organizations and students. There were only four of us on the Engineering Career Center staff. We couldn't pull the career fair off by ourselves. We would recruit other College of Engineering staff and students to help plan and facilitate the event.

More people helping meant more collaboration. I realized how much more important communication becomes as the size of the team increases. Having everyone on the same page with up-to-date information became important when last minute hiccups shifted the original gameplan. Shared live documents helped with planning. We found having walkie talkies the day of the event worked much better than group texts. Working on large teams showed me how constant communication and collaboration helps increase the overall success rate and provides better outcomes with less mishaps and misunderstandings.

Working in teams can be tough. Personalities and suggested approaches might clash. Tasks may get ignored, forgotten or botched. However, the goal still has to be accomplished. Sometimes, reinforcements are required to pick up the slack or patch the holes. The last brick needs to get laid at the banquet hall and the bridal party has to make their entrance at the wedding reception. The more cohesive the team, the more likely a favorable outcome. It can be a beautiful thing when everyone is working together in concerted effort toward a common goal.

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