We have recruited many new team members recently (including our new Strategic Business Development Manager; Gary Aimson, Marketing Assistant; Sophie Wilkins, Graduate Software Developer; Thomas Bird and Senior Export Technical Support Engineer; Kevan Fry) so it has also been the perfect time for the team to take part in some team building exercises.
Team building is a great opportunity to work together outside the usual business parameters and constraints. I strongly believe it’s essential to have a strong, well-motivated team where everyone trusts each other. We used local specialists Cumulus Outdoor who organise events that are fun and actually engage with participants. The team building comes from the shared experiences but this is much better when everyone concerned has an enjoyable time after all a happy, motivated and focussed team is more likely to succeed!
For the first part of the day we all took part in a big group activity in which we concentrated on learning a new skill, something that is prevalent in today’s business environment as new skills are required to improve performance. So, we all learned how to juggle! The event organisers did this step by step, giving us encouragement and useful feedback much like any learning process. For the second part of the day we were split into groups working together to complete a range of logical and physical activities/puzzles to gain points.
Whilst it was fun day that was undoubtedly enjoyed by all, it also gave the whole TDSi team the opportunity to really hone the teamwork ethos and also to think differently. We started from the point that if you approach a task the same way you will produce the same results. If you want a different or better result we have to analyse the situation differently and do things differently thereby producing improvement. The activities also deliberately mixed team members from across the company together, so people who would not necessarily work directly with one another on a daily basis got the chance to do so. Even in a focussed business like ours it is easy for different departments to spend less time together so it was a great opportunity for them to bond over a fun challenge. Congratulations to the winning team which was led by Alan Burgess and achieved over 1000 points!
All of us at TDSi are great advocates of the promotion of engineering as a subject in education. There is a strong feeling in our industry (and I suspect others) that schools need to do more to really push it as the exciting and essential subject that it is. We were delighted therefore to be able to sponsor one of the teams from Parkstone Grammar School in Poole that took part in the final of the Greenpower scheme, which was held at the world-famous Goodwood Motor Circuit.
The school put forward two batterypowered vehicle entries; ‘Speedwell’ (which TDSi sponsored) and ‘Titan’ which were built by all-female teams from the school. We were initially involved due to the participation of Rachel Little, the daughter of Greg Little, Sales Support and Estimator at TDSi. Both cars raced against international teams from around the world including the USA and South Africa. Speedwell finished in 30th place and Titan in 44th place, placing them in the top 15% and top 20% in the world respectively for this sport. This was a fantastic result, especially considering both cars were built from scratch in just 26 weeks and with a very high input from the girls (as well as technical help from volunteers at Siemens in Poole).
Again the Greenpower teams from Parkstone Grammar School demonstrated what is achievable through teamwork and it’s great to see that there is a keen interest in engineering from young people we just need to make sure it’s properly nurtured to ensure the UK stays an important hub for technical innovation into the future.