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Why Church Guilds and Wall Street have SO Much in Common

Are the members of the Church Guild, working hard to bake cakes, find old clothes and sell raffle tickets, really all that different from the financial high-rollers on Wall Street?

When you boil it down to basics, there are actually very few differences.

Why Church Guilds and Wall Street have SO Much in Common
Photo credit: Adrian Scottow on flickr

Any organization or group needs to focus on pooling the individual strengths and talents of all its members. The success of the enterprise, be it wheeling and dealing in commodities, selling and buying stocks and shares, or collecting funds to build a new playground for community kids, will depend on how well the group can work together, using the energy, experience and skills of its human resources through team building.

Let’s take a deeper look at each of these organizational models and see just how similar or different they are and examine just how much each needs to have teams working in harmony to achieve its goals.

The “church guild”, could be the metaphor for any service organization: Rotary, Lions, St. Horatio’s Home for Remarkably Talented Children…

A service organization works on the collective will and desire of its members to do good things, to achieve success in projects, to spread its philosophies and teachings and to gather new members.

Likewise the heavy-hitting financial organization seeks to do good things (build its business); achieve success (make profits); spread its philosophies (market itself), and gain new members, increasing the number of clients and customers.

Let’s focus for a moment on the few essential differences between these two examples to clearly understand what may work best in corporate team building.

First of all, a service organization only exists on the goodwill and voluntary activity of its members. It survives financially on the willingness of people to contribute hard-earned money for a good cause and offers no more than a spiritual, emotional or “feel good” return on that investment. The fact that the organization fills a community need, steps in where the authorities may be lacking and provides a focus for acts of charity and good deeds is what attracts people to support its ideals, join the organization and work for its benefit.

The Wall Street financial enterprise offers its clients and shareholders a similar rush of good feelings though these may come from the sense of success experienced through profit, power or influence.

The organizations we work with at Strayboots run the gamut from not-for-profit to very much about profit, and everything in between – from schools to hospitals to city governments. And what we see is that no matter how different they may be from one another, they all rely on the power of a strong team dynamic to keep driving forward whether that’s to initiate new projects, offer more products, reach revenue or fundraising goals, or develop more resources.

It all comes down to how employees communicate with one another and the fact that office relationships enable better collaboration towards shared goals – whatever those goals may be. In a corporate environment, for example, improved collaboration can significantly improve the quality of the work being done or ideas generated. Likewise in a service organization, better communication between employees – or committee members and chair people as the case may be – can facilitate or accelerate getting the work done. 

In either scenario, effective team building plays a crucial role both laterally among employees and vertically between employees and management or board members. Because the service organization depends on volunteerism and personal motivation rather than the career incentives that characterize the corporate model, this may not seem immediately obvious. But at Strayboots we see the proof every day and the fact remains that team building creates team spirit, motivation and excitement – no matter the organization model. And we all need that to feel engaged and remain committed to shared goals – in business and community service alike.

Discover the power of team building with Strayboots. Get in touch to learn about our team building events and find out how we can help your team bond over shared goals. 

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