I was impressed by what Al wrote earlier today here on the soapbox regarding effective teamwork between two independent Smiths School of English franchisees. He illustrated a beautiful example of what it means to be part of a dedicated team working together for a common purpose.
Here we have two independent Smiths School of English franchise owners, each concerned for their individual well being, but realizing that ultimately only… a well coordinated collective effort will result in bringing the greatest success to one and all.
I did some research recently in trying to find an accurate definition of what constitutes “TEAM” and I came across a pretty interesting description over on wikipedia which I thought sums up how we operate here at Smiths School of English pretty nicely and why I believe this is the absolute strongest form to be in.
The definition reads as follow:
“A team comprises a group of people or animals linked in a common purpose. Teams are especially appropriate for conducting tasks that are high in complexity and have many interdependent subtasks.
A group in itself does not necessarily constitute a team. Teams normally have members with complementary skills and generate synergy through a coordinated effort which allows each member to maximize his or her strengths and minimize his or her weaknesses.”
I especially like the first sentence in that second paragraph.
Being a member of Smiths School of English franchisees provides you with direct access to an invaluable source of assistance across numerous areas. I could not even begin to cover the countless skill sets represented among Smiths School of English franchisees but I would like to mention one recent example which I especially appreciated and also one which drove home to me once again the meaning of having good quality people working alongside of you in a common purpose.
Each franchisee at Smiths School of English is provided with an extensive curriculum ranging from beginner levels to advanced levels and everything in between. It’s a great tool as it allows even the lesser experienced teachers to feel confident right from the start. Curriculums are wonderful but it’s important to not think of them as only static collections of lessons but rather a dynamic framework which can be improved upon and adapted to fit changes around us.
At our last seminar I was handed a packet by Edward Iwaskow from Smiths School of English in Otsu, in which he had inserted his suggestions on how we might be able to improve certain aspects of our existing curriculum. He did not only make suggestions but actually took the time to design entirely new lesson plans complete with instructions on how to plug in our existing materials.
I cannot imagine the amount of time and effort he devoted to that project and it was all voluntary. I was impressed by the “gift” which he handed us.
If you take a look at other articles in this soapbox you will find that not only Ed, but numerous other franchisees genuinely care about their schools, their students and also their fellow franchisee’s schools. Having all of these unique and gifted individuals on my team just an email or quick phone call away is priceless.
It makes you feel confident when you have your fellow compatriots walking side by side with you.
Recently a new franchisee joined our ranks. Scroll further down this soapbox and check out the support they got from day one!
The idea of one lone ranger opening up his or her own school, hanging out their shingle announcing their “grand opening”, perhaps even putting together their website then waiting for students to start showing up may sound “entrepreneurial”, “admirable”, and maybe even a bit “romantic” but in my humble opinion I believe it is much more “entrepreneurial” and one shows much more “business-savvy” by actually searching out and joining a TEAM of people who are already experiencing success doing what he or she endeavors to do.
Why reinvent the wheel when you can hit the ground running from Day 1 as our new franchisees are doing at Smiths School of English in Kawanishi ?!
Just my humble opinion…
To each his (or her) own as they say…
A well designed TEAM structure is the most resilient form of partnership in this industry and I believe that what the future has in store for us will only prove that more.
Thanks for the TEAM work!
Smith’s School of English Nara – Saidaiji
月謝制 の スミス 英会話 奈良 － 西大寺校
http://www.smithweb.co.jp/school/saidaiji.shtml 英会話 西大寺 奈良市
Thanks for refreshing everyone on the true meaning of TEAM and making such clear comparisons with our TEAM at Smith’s School of English. TEAM. It’s a good word for this month. Recently I have really felt the power of the Smith’s School of English TEAM.
In the past month I have: have 2 meetings with head office staff and Mark Smith, attended a seminar with about 15 TEAM members, met new TEAM members, had coffee with my Smith’s neighbour, Peter, at Smith’s School of English in Yamashina and visited Peter’s other school in Shijo/ Karasuma in Kyoto, went hiking with 18 members from SSE Ohtsu and SSE Kamishinjo, organized a sumo excursion with students from 2 school, begun planning for the annual hanami party at Osaka castle, and collaborated with other Smith’s teachers and owners on web content. Furthermore, I have worked with head office design staff to create a new flyer, and ordered 2 more flags for my school. As well, I met up with Al Bartle and did some TEAM flyering at Al’s Smith’s School of English in Okamoto.
The Smith’s TEAM is truly present in everything we do. And I feel proud to be part of this wonderful system.
Edward, Smith’s School of English Ohtsu
Al Bartle says
As I mentioned Edward came to Okamoto and helped me with flyering this week. When he visited my school, he handed me the same package and took the time to explain his materials and new method improvements. I have already used some of the ideas to expand the routine lessons to help students start working out of context with the same questions. It is really a great extension of the routine lesson. I missed the seminar, but thanks to you, Edward and Adrian, I was completely filled in and Edward’s visit completed the circle. I cannot imagine another franchise school in Japan that has such great people. We are very lucky and I am sure that our students are also lucky to have such hard working and dedicated teachers to help them. Keep up the great work.
Al, SSE Okamoto