Team Hack #8: Decrapify Your Team

OK, I know I will get some static on this one. Pastors aren’t supposed to use any language that cannot be found on an old rerun of “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood”. If you give me a chance, I will explain my choice of title. It started back in April, when I became aware of a piece of software called “PC Decrapifier” (a free download, suggested donation at ). The idea of the developer was to help the purchaser of a new computer to rid themselves of all the trial version software and nonsense that comes on the drive when the PC manufacturer ships it. Instead of simply using the Windows XP or Vista utility, this company came up with a way to allow you to eliminate all of the undesired software by choosing from a list and allowing the whole thing to clean up at one time (Windows makes you select each one individually).

In every growing team there is the addition of new people to the mix. If we try to take them out of the box and start them on their way with a series of tasks without some “untraining time”, we will no doubt find ourselves wishing we had explained more. I am not talking simply about going through the employee handbook with them, as effective as that may be. I am suggesting that we would be wise to plan time with the members of the team individually to explain the other facets of the overall shop, and how each part functions on the team to produce a singular positive result. In the process, we should be careful to ask probing questions like, “How did you accomplish this at ___?” (the place they worked before). We may get some great ideas from them, but in any case we get to hear both the good and the bad of their last employment experience. In other words, we help them purge and “decrapify” so that the bloated bad memories are made into just that — memories. When the team member is able to relieve the past (forgive the pun), they can hear the present. They have open space on the drive of their mind to learn new tasks and see how they fit the common goal of our team. Who knew? What works on drives works in team builders…decrapifying.