Welcome to the conclusion of our blog series on team building with Goldman Sachs. If you missed any of our previous posts on team building at Goldman Sachs, check out our Introduction, Part 1 and Part 2.
In part 2 of our series, I highlighted how cognitive diversity was key to team success in Midnight Madness-the intense, all-night scavenger hunt featuring employees from Goldman Sachs.
I mentioned that one team, Black Gold, had trouble with certain challenges. This was, in their own words, due to the fact that they all thought very similarly. The results validated this “one-track-mind” team deficiency as Black Gold placed 7th out of 20 teams.
Why A Diverse Team Performed Well
Contrast Black Gold’s team setup with that of Team 0xFFFFoo (computer code for the color Yellow). 0xFFFFoo was from Goldman’s Global Securities Service department and had a more diverse and people-driven makeup. This department helps clients with structuring hedge funds—a job that requires both personal interaction and a highly quantitative mindset.
The team captain had this to say about their performance:
“We are in a customer-facing business–our job is to help clients solve complex problems. The key is we work well together. During Midnight Madness, the goal wasn’t to have the single smartest guy in the room. You don’t have time to have the smartest guy in the room.”
This team had several factors hindering them that other teams did not: they had only 1 laptop, no bikes and no previous experience. That should have made it nearly impossible, but OxFFFFoo turned these hindrances into a competitive advantage.
The group heavily relied on each other to accomplish the challenges and won Midnight Madness!
Complex problem solving requires collaboration. It always starts with the people and often; the most insurmountable disadvantages cannot stop a team of well-balanced individuals work together. Accessing individual strengths, understanding them and applying them to a common goal can lead to unmatched results—just as it did for Goldman Sachs.
We hope you enjoyed our mini-series on the ultimate night in team building. Midnight Madness proved to be an overall success for Goldman Sachs and we encourage you to check out more here!