My name is Bas Middelbos. I work in R&D at Canon Production Printing in Venlo. A few years ago, I organised a multi-day team start with Marieke and Hans with a project team that was at the beginning of a fairly long and complex development process for a new product. The team start was a very nice mix of getting to know each other, learning to trust each other, and learning to lean on each other’s strengths. But it was a start content wise as well. We sharpened the joint project goal and each other’s individual contributions.
In R&D we are often primarily concerned with the content; for me the strength about this team start was the combination of attention for – in addition to the content – the process, the relations and the context. Ultimately, everything has to be right if you want a project to succeed. For the internal communication about the project progress, I continued to use their approach: talking about more than just the content. Therefor I wholeheartedly recommend this team start. Getting together is an investment, but one that definitely pays off for complex, long-term projects in which people have to work together for the first time.