Reaching Across Boundaries

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Teaming often means reaching across boundaries, organizational silos, locations to get things done. Let's take a look at an example of teaming across boundaries to accomplish the seemingly impossible. On August 5, 2010, more than half a million tons of rock caved in suddenly, completely blocking the entrance to the San Jose Copper Mine in Chile. Mining accidents are unfortunately very common, but this one was unprecedented for several reasons:the distance of the miners from the Earth's surface, the sheer number of miners trapped, and the hardness of the rock, just to name a few.

33 men were buried alive 700 meters under rock harder than granite. Estimates of the possibility of finding anyone alive were put at less than one percent. Most of you will already know that within 70 days, all 33 miners were rescued. What happened during those 70 days was an extraordinary teaming effort involving hundreds of individuals spanning physical, organizational,cultural, geographic, and professional boundaries. These hundreds of people came togetherfrom different disciplines, organizations, and even industries from mining, geology, oil, logistics,from the public sectors, from the private sectors.

They teamed up, experimented, and learned fast from failure. Now, you may never face a challenge quite that dramatic, but the chances are good that even today, you're having to span departmental and other boundaries to get the work done. What does it take to work togethereffectively across boundaries? It takes an ability to build great work relationships on the fly. How do you quickly get up to speed so that you can work well with someone new? It requires a blend of asking and telling, but start by asking.


Ask three essential questions: what are you you hoping to achieve, what knowledge and background do you bring, and what obstacles do you face. Then, in return, share with them your own answers to the same three questions. In essence, teaming works best when we're curious,when we find out the aspirations and skills of our colleagues. Don't assume you know what you need to know about them. Ask questions. This can be done very quickly, and it makes a huge difference in breaking down the silos that divide us.

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Positive Change:  Sometimes those words seem like two opposites, strangely connected in a random phrase.  For many people, change is not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of positive things.  For many people, families and organizations change is not positive, because it brings discomfort, discord, dysfunction and division.  We know it doesn’t have to be that way.  And we instinctively believe there must be a way to manage change that brings us to a place of agreement, comfort and unity.  But finding that way can be a daunting task.


The Banyan Group  is a private, independently organized non-profit practice, dedicated to counseling, coaching and consulting, always with a view to managing change in such a way as to bring positive, helpful and hopeful results.  


Perhaps you're visiting our website as part of a search for help in your personal life; or for direction in your career; or maybe as part of a search for help answering some particular questions about the structure, leadership or management of your church or non-profit organization.  The Banyan Group provides resources from a wide range of experience and expertise, seeking to add value to what you are already doing in any or all of these areas.  We believe in being helpers, not in "reinventing the wheel.”  We seek to help our clients discover the missing piece, whether by counseling, coaching or consultation, to get their life, their career or their organization to a place of positive change.  


We invite you to explore our site and learn more about the services we offer. As you seek assistance, it is important that you are always well informed and an active participant in your journey toward positive change. We welcome questions and invite you to contact us about the process and our work together.

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