Yesterday I gave blood for the first time in a while. I was delayed by traffic (and my journey only added to that) and that put a little stress into the day, but I arrived to a warm and calming smile (from behind a mask, but you can still tell, can’t you?) and welcome. I eased into a chair to fill in the form to check that I was OK to donate.
Then I was asked to come through and we had a short discussion all designed to make sure that my blood is safe for others; of course my blood, like everyone else’s, will be tested in the Lab to double check. Then, to relax whilst the blood is drawn, and a chance to read my book (from the Building Better Business Book Club) during the few minutes that took and the fifteen minute rest afterwards. It was a pleasure to donate and I encourage others to do the same when they can.
What struck me, though, was the mastery of the team. Everyone was working together effectively, they knew what each other was doing and where people were. They have designed a great system, and they have the skills to deliver the whole process with professionalism, grace and care. It was a great reminder that whilst individuals do take the journey to Mastery, that teams can too. It’s why the strategies that Build Better Business include both Systems and Skills, both so important for collective knowledge and applying it to those you serve in a consistent way. The NHS doesn’t have medical staff who work in hospital wards dropping in to take blood at blood donation sessions. That’s not because they don’t have the relevant skills, they may well have, but they don’t have the team experience. They would be great Practitioners, they would do the job, and do it well, but the experience for the donors will not be as relaxed.
Mastery is as much about knowing how to communicate what you know and teaching the skills that you have, and that’s teamwork too. When your teams are focussed on the one thing they do, and learn to do it well together, they really do stand out. The NHS Blood transfusion service are at the top of their game, and I want to thank them for making the whole experience a joy.
Are you involved with a team that needs to up its game? Let’s have a chat about how you might want to make that journey.