Service Teams and Me!

Well, here I go again!  Fantastic!  Back to Romania to work with the IMS MAXIMS.  team in Suceava, for a second time in 12 months.  I had such a wonderful time in 2013 and had learned so much about Romania, the people and indeed myself.  I can’t wait to get over again, renew friendships and support the team’s commitment to learning and development. As in 2013, the focus is to highlight the importance of “delivering service excellence”, with specific emphasis on the team, individual responsibility and relationships, both internal and external.  An appraisal skills workshop is also planned to support the new team leaders.

The journey begins in Luton, where I meet up with Neill, Barbara, Kevin and Shaun with the back drop being England’s first game in The World Cup against Italy.  At Bacau we pick up the Mercedes and head off to Suceava enjoying the beautiful Romanian countryside.  We arrive safely at the Hotel Conacul Domnesc, check in and I demolish a delicious chicken salad.

Following an early morning workout and quick breakfast, it’s down to the IMS MAXIMS office in Suceava.  The welcome is wonderful and so many team members check if my case arrived safely this time!  Even new members to the team seem to know what happened last year and the team is certainly growing!  I re-assure them that everything is OK and I am ready to go.  After an important conference call with the Ireland and England offices, the appraisal skills training kicks off with the team leaders George, Christian, Vasile, Andreea, Mariana and Shaun.  The emphasis is very much about building relationships and establishing a new process in Romania.  The team embrace the key points with typical enthusiasm and reverence and they are all clearly committed to making this work for everyone in the team.  For me, I am once again inspired by the team leaders’ commitment to learning and development.  Talented, educated and capable individuals who want to grow as professionals and people!

The “Service Teams and Me!” programme starts on Tuesday with a refresh on what we had covered in 2013, FISH! being very much a highlight.  The session develops with work completed on;

• Building relationships of trust and The Feedback Game

• Recognising each other’s contribution and The Praise Cards

• Team challenge and The Leader of the Pack

I have just the best job in the world!  Working with such an enthusiastic, respectful and polite team of people is inspirational.  Their willingness and desire to learn and challenge their own thinking is complimented by their commitment to each other and motivation to help and support their colleagues.  “Service teams and me!”

Back at Conacul Domnesc, Neill, Barbara, Kevin (The Shirt), Shaun and I enjoy another fantastic meal, The World Cup continues in the background and the craic is mighty!

The following morning, “Service Teams and Me Too!” sets out to build on the development of the previous day.  The energy, laughter and fun brought to the training room is certainly noticeable, particularly when the photographs from 2013 are projected on screen.  So the second day begins with the focus very much about;

• Relationships, relationships, relationships and Brief Encounters

• Motivation at Work

• DRIVE and Dan Pink

• Team Challenge and The Red Card Blue Card Experience and ZOOM!

• SOMing UP 2014

• Team Challenge and Seeing the Point

What a fantastic day!  The training is complete, the feedback is excellent and Victor’s picture of the programme tells it’s own story (see below).  It is time to celebrate with a drinks reception in the bar.  Spain is beaten by Chile and what was the best team in the world is heading home.  The importance of investment, change, development and “not standing still” is evident to all and the consequences of failing to do so obvious with tonight’s result.  Spain will be back no doubt!  IMS MAXIMS approach to building successful relationships and teams will hopefully minimise the risk of this type of thing happening in their world.

Thursday is a “mop up” day for all.  I complete the appraisal skills training and spend some time with the new team members revisiting “delivering service excellence 2013”.  The future for IMS MAXIMS Romania looks in very safe hands!  At the close of play, I am off for a tour of Suceava with Victor and we visit the Fortress, Monastery, Train Station and University.  The city is full of history and culture and Victor speaks proudly of his city and country and I can understand why.  Back at home, we just don’t realise what a stunning country Romania is!

On our final day “The Famous Five” tour around the north east of Romania with Andreea and Marius.  We visit a ceramic works, Sucevita Monastery, a salt mine and egg museum. As with the night before, Andreea and Marius are delighted to show off their country and it is a privilege for us to be there and to see it.  A final diner and reception is held at Conacul Domnesc and the highlight being Marius’s dance troop performing several traditional dances.  Superb and team work personified!

Another brilliant trip to Suceava in Romania!  And my reflections? Well, they include;

• We just don’t know enough about Romania, its history, culture and people

• Respect is evident throughout the IMS MAXIMS team in Suceava

• Communication is different (ZOOM!) but truly effective

• Talented professionals are always committed to learning and development

• Effective relationships are based on listening and sharing what we think

• Autonomy, mastery and purpose (DRIVE) are so relevant today

• I have the best job in the world!

I certainly can’t wait for the next time!  Thanks to all.