I was in Paris this week, facilitating a one-day in-house company meeting based around the theme of ‘Collaboration’.

When I run these events, the concept I tend to use is to share a thought, or even an opinion or two with the audience and then to have them challenge it for themselves, capturing their findings in a fast moving an interactive way. Usually I do not expect to learn much for myself from these events but this time I did.

Towards the end of the day, the five-time world champion and Olympic medallist, Jason Lamy-Chappuis was invited to share his story of success, especially focusing on the theme of collaboration.  His talk started conventionally enough with some interesting insights into the Olympic games preparation process but it was something he said at the end of his talk, when answering a question from the public, that really struck home. He said that the best day of his entire career was when he and his team won the world championship gold medal and not his solo Olympic medal.  “The reward was shared and multiplied by a factor of four, it was emotionally so intense”. When I won the solo gold, it was a life’s ambition achieved but I walked back to the dressing room alone.

When we are exploring the techniques and benefits of collaboration, perhaps it’s an idea not to forget how it feels to win in a team sport rather than a solo one? How it feels to have the companionship in glorious moments that is born out of a shared experience, rather than that of an individual one?  Surely, that is the feeling of working for a great company and with a great team?  How often have I heard people say, “I stuck that job for years, not because it was interesting, it wasn’t, it was as boring as hell but we had such a great team that it was always fun to be there”.

Have a good week,