It’s the differences that help us fit together.


I often hear the quote “There’s no I in team” or see it as a nice graphic on social media.

It means two things to me:

  1. There’s no room for big egos in a team (see The Apprentice’s manufactured lambs being groomed for weekly denouement in the Boardroom)
  2. It’s the differences that help us fit together.Together we are stronger.

Now, I’ve said before that I’ve not much of a team player in the past but recently I’ve really felt the power of working teams – teams with different yet compatible members.

As you will know (probably) I’ve just finished writing my book for Crown House Publishing called ‘Sending The Ladder Back Down’ (see the earlier blog on why it’s called that) and although putting the words onto the page has been a fairly solo-sport, it’s not an individual pursuit…it’s now with the editing and production team.

Within the book I’ve reimagined some tools we’ve designed and used with young people and created some new ones – resources, thinking tools and ideas for teachers to use with students and to create some thinking skills and space.

These ideas have all been put into one big journey/map and I was struggling to put all the elements together and make sure they were themed / curated so that they are easy to access, identify and use.  Joe, my colleague and digital / creative expert mulled over if for a while before he came up with a set of easy to identify symbols. Each tool has a symbol (like the one at the title of this blog post) and each symbol has a place on the journey map and so it’s easy to see where and how to use each one.

Joe’s talent is visual and graphic and he turns a photo of a scrappy A4 sheet covered in marker pen into a great visual image which, with a bit of tweaking, is almost always perfectly imagined. Joe is a graduate, he went to school with my elder daughter and he has a Masters Degree in Industrial Design. Joe also has dyslexia.

Joe’s brilliant skill is that he sees things differently and creates solutions that others wouldn’t because of his unique gift. He’s also a fantastic skier and ski instructor who goes for the second winter in a row to Whistler in Canada to teach skiing. (Because he’s worked for us for around three years he also worked with students and in schools enough to increase his pay grade this winter). It’s infuriating that he keeps going off skiing for free and making lots of friends and money in Canada, but in the grand scheme of things he’ll be available digitally if we are desperate and if this isn’t an example of Sending The Ladder Back Down, I don’t know what is.

So is there an I in team? Yes there is, but the important thing is that those individuals need to look at each other’s skills and make sure they work complimentarily to support one another.

Sometimes birds of a feather need to use their wings differently to properly get off the ground.


Bernie, 7thNovember 2019.