[By Alan Gould]
“Getting to One” may sound like a sales slogan, Power of One or Getting to Yes, but in fact it is neither. I see it as a goal of getting the A.H. Harris team and the Kenseal team to become one. This past January nine employees representing A.H. Harris and Kenseal, met at Kenseal’s corporate office in Baltimore, Maryland for two days of interaction. We were asked to attend so we could become aware of a new learning path.
The meeting was based around an assessment of your personality traits and your sales traits. Once you know and understand your traits, you are given a strategy on how to best work with people with their own unique traits. The first task we needed to complete before we arrived was to take the Advanced Personality Assessment. We were then sent our results and asked to review them before class.
Upon arrival we did the customary go around the room and introduce ourselves to the group. Hector Silva was the newbie to the team with 6 months on the job. Ken Stevens was the veteran with 31 years under his belt. Next, our instructor Kyla told us we were going to be playing a day long game of poker. If you participated and answered questions you would get additional cards to add to your hand. At the end of the day the person with the best hand wins a prize. I knew I was up against some card sharks so I was up for the challenge but I really did not think this would be a good way to bring two teams together. Every hour we were told to keep our best five cards and pass the junk to the person on your right. At noon the person on my left admitted he did not know how to play poker. Well the person on his left (a card shark) offered him some advice. Great, no more aces getting passed my way. This was also the first sign of the team coming together. The rookie from Kenseal getting advice from the veteran from Harris, the bond started. Ken and Hector started the team getting to one.
During the rest of the day we went over everyone’s personality traits. Some had similar traits but no one was even close to matching. Learning about each other in this manner really leaves you with nothing to hide. The barriers were down.
At night we met at an Irish establishment named after famed novelist and poet, James Joyce. While James Joyce is no longer with us, there were some famous characters in the house that night. As I stood talking to Ian Redd we noticed a gentleman coming through the front door and while he looked familiar, I could not place him. Ian informed me he was a character from House of Cards. As the night went on, more of the cast showed up. It appeared they were out to do a little team bonding as well.
Cinghiale, “wild boar” in Italian, was the inner harbor restaurant we visited that night. Kenseal President Paul McKinnell joined us in the final team building event of the night. Sharing starters, swapping stories and finding common ground as the night rounded out a great day of getting to know one another.
Day two started with a team that was ready to get to work. Everyone contributed to the day and there was a feeling of drive for the better good of the organization. At the end of our training we were asked to get into two teams and come up with at least ten items that resonated with us. Our team decided the number one take away was, Harris and Kenseal go together, we got along great, had a good time and look forward to being better together in 2017. The group got to one! ONE TEAM/OUR TEAM.
Below is Jen Vedrani’s favorite photo of the class work we accomplished.