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Teams have competitive advantage

March 20, 2009

When Southwest Airlines said that it’s important to them that staff have fun at work did anybody believe them or did it just sound like more corporate mission statement jargon?

Our people are our single greatest strength - Gary Kelly

It’s easier to put a mission statement on the wall than it is to put it into action. We know of organisations who have spent months of meetings carefully crafting and re-wording their corporate mission statements, only to find the life sapped from them soon after they’re finished. Or sometimes mission statements work for a while, but then turnover takes a toll and the new people never seem to really get on board.

It’s great to see the video, above, of David, a Southwest Airlines flight attendant, keeping some of their mission statement alive.  He and his colleagues make a great team because they’re committed to the same vision and they support each other.  There is no doubt that team work benefits everybody – customers and colleagues alike.  But sometimes people within an organisation forget they’re part of a team.  One department regards another as a thorn in its side and sometimes colleagues just don’t like each other.

A key factor to success during these hard economic times was summed up by Gary Kelly, CEO of Southwest Airlines, when he said “Our people are our single greatest strength and our most enduring longterm competitive advantage.” Long may it last.

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