Monthly Archives: November 2015

4 clues about teamwork by solving a murder mystery

What makes a good team? Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson are a famous pairing. Our Shared Services team recently cloaked up for a team bonding activity at Escape Hunt in Melbourne. While being locked in a dark room for an hour surrounded by beer doesn’t sound too bad for some, we needed all our powers of deduction (and a few phone-a-friends) to unravel this puzzle. Despite being physically challenging for one 6’4 individual, we had a lot of fun and solved a few mysteries about teamwork in the process.

OUR PUZZLE: A brew master has been murdered. The motive – stealing a secret beer recipe. Our mission – solve the crime, locate the recipe and bring the perpetrator to justice. (Spoiler alert: this article may contain clues.)

  1. It is better to get help when you need it – Some people always seek help, others try to nut it out alone. Asking for help is really worthwhile when you can’t otherwise figure it out; knowing when to ask is the key. While it would defeat the purpose of the game if we were given too many clues, wasting time over every impasse is counterproductive.
  2. Teamwork is as important as individual work – Our combined efforts allowed us to progress to the next steps, and we were rewarded with more challenging clues. We found some clues individually, presented them to the team and brainstormed our ideas further.
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask a ‘dumb’ question – I should have spoken up but instead I thought I had a ‘dumb’ question. In the last room of our murder mystery puzzle, I saw a torch on the table and was wondering why it looked a little different from the standard ones we were given. Fearing that I would be asking a dumb question, I kept quiet. Our team was unable to figure out by ourselves that it was a UV torch to illuminate hidden clues.  Yes, I should have asked that seemingly ‘dumb’ question.
  4. Sometimes we overcomplicate things unnecessarily – Often the solution is obvious. Our team was stuck in the last room of the final stage of the game for ages. I could feel the atmosphere amongst the group changing. We were all getting frustrated, uncomfortably cramped into a claustrophobic room.  With just two combination locks to go, we spent ages trying to multiply, add, subtract and rearrange six digits that were simply a linear code.

Holmes said, “Give me problems, give me work.” What have you learned about your work style through a team bonding activity?

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How to triage CV applications in the War for Talent

In his own way, the great Napoleonic surgeon Dominique Larrey has influenced the progress of your career! Over 200 years ago he halted the practice of treating ranked officers ahead of foot soldiers, and instead introduced the modern rule of triage of casualties; that is treating the wounded according to their level of injury and urgency for medical care. We’re saluting a long departed hero of another time and in a very different field, but whose legacy also affects us all. Read on and join the dots.

“Dominique Larrey knew that those with critical injuries would stand a good chance of survival if they were operated on within the first hour of their trauma occurring. Those with minor injuries were made to wait, while the more seriously injured were attended to. Those deemed to be mortally wounded were put aside, often with alcohol to comfort them until they passed away, whilst resources were concentrated on those who could survive.

This process of systematic evaluation became known as ‘triage’, a French word meaning ‘to sort’.

No one dared to question Larrey’s triage system for fear of being deemed aristocratic  – a status that would almost certainly attract the attention of the dreaded Committee of Public Safety, the ruling council in Paris.”

Recruiters have to be adroit ‘sorters’ of CVs and we’ve taken a few tips from Larrey. It sounds harsh that sometimes the hours you’ve put into preparing a CV can be scanned and assessed in all of 10 seconds by a recruiter. But that is the task and fortunately we’ve moved well beyond previous prejudices that were blinkered by creed, culture and colour, the Queen’s English and postcodes.

So what is that we’re looking for in terms of (i) ‘Not for this job’, (ii) ‘Maybe for this job’ and (iii) ‘Yes, I want to meet’?

Every role is different, but here are some of the 10 fast-as-lightening assessments that have to be made in ‘the War for Talent’.

Triage Language: Won’t Survive.  Slade Group: Not for this job

 

  • Too many moves
    Once you’ve grown through your 20s, we’re looking for ‘stickability’. If you’re ‘out looking’ every one to two years in your 30s and 40s, then sadly your career is heading for the morgue.

 

 

  • Failed English
    If you can’t spell, then use spellcheck, and if you can’t draw together a reasonable sentence, then getting ahead is going to be hard.

 

 

  • Completely irrelevant experience or skill set
    Don’t waste our time.

 

Triage Language: Serious Injuries.  Slade Group: Needs more time to assess

 

  • Some relevant experience
    Interesting related experience; might not have worked in the same sector or similar role but has related experience that could add real value.

 

 

  • A succinct career statement
    Makes it enticing to invest more time to understand what this candidate could bring to an organisation.

 

 

  • Relevant qualifications
    A technical role often requires relevant qualifications; think accounting, engineering, the law, medicine and IT. Not always the case, but often the case.

 

 

  • Concise and easy to read
    This simple tip puts yours ahead of CVs that have to be read twice, that are filled with paragraphs and lengthy narrative.

 

Triage Language: Minor Injuries.  Slade Group: Almost perfect, get them in for interview

 

  • Achievements
    A CV with real cache will highlight respected career achievements to excite a recruiter and your next employer.

 

 

  • Career Trajectory
    Several internal promotions at a number of long stay roles, and/or successive, successful career steps will shape a blue chip CV.

 

 

  • Blue chip qualifications, employers and documented achievements
    Hard to beat the trifecta.

 

If you haven’t been getting to interview, perhaps review the roles you’re applying for and check in with your own CV to make sure it’s not working against you.

That’s our world @work on this our 100th Blog. What’s your point of view?

Please keep up the feedback, comments and input.

Featured image: Wounded arriving at triage station, National Museum of Health and MedicineCreative Commons licence

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