Company Culture
Workplace culture

How ‘The Good Place’ can help strengthen your team

We asked Delaware biz leaders to share their advice on building better team dynamics, and got some unexpected answers.

Heavenly workplaces do exist. (Photo by Flickr user David Spinks, used via a Creative Commons license)

This editorial article is a part of's Team Dynamics Month of our editorial calendar.

Can a sitcom make your team stronger?

Ken Grant of AAA MidAtlantic thinks so — sort of. He doesn’t suggest gathering your team around the TV to watch the NBC sitcom “The Good Place,” but rather to take a cue from its creator, Michael Schur.

“The way [writing the show] works is that the best idea wins,” said Grant, at Delaware’s summer stakeholders meeting. “If the janitor comes in and has an idea, and that idea is the best, they go with it. It’s about getting rid of ego.”

In other words, that fall intern you’re hiring could have more to contribute than you think.

Other biz leaders’ responses when we asked them to share their advice on building better team dynamics:

  • “Communication about your core values is about walking the talk,” said Frank DiSantis of SCORE Delaware. Don’t say you value the input of entry-level employees and turn around and ignore every entry-level suggestion, for example.
  • “Separate diversity from inclusion,” said Dan Young of Goldey-Beacom College. The difference? Diversity means everyone isn’t the same; inclusion means that those who are in the minority aren’t made to feel they don’t really belong.
  • “Signal boost good ideas,” said Andrew Braune of Green Line Business Group. Take a cue from social media: If credit isn’t given freely for a good idea, team members can boost each other by acknowledging who contributed what to a project themselves.
  • Don’t foster what Matt Sullivan of Short Order Productions calls “cultural dysfunction,” where, for example, prospective employees at downtown offices have had their fears of the city reinforced in recruiting materials telling them, for instance, to avoid Market Street. “I think it’s starting to crack,” he said, “but recruiting used to focus on the bad instead of speaking for Wilmington.”
  • “People need to be valued and heard,” said Sharon Hake of Great Dames. This is similar to “the best idea wins,” but more straightforward.

Simply put: If team member don’t feel valued, the team won’t be strong.

Series: Team Dynamics Month 2019

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