Laurie Taylor column

February 7, 2003

The white paper on higher education envisages an even greater role for human resources, THES January 31.

Thank you all for turning up so late on a Friday for this special workshop on teambuilding that will be led by Dave Medlicott from personnel.

Human resources, Professor Lapping. "Personnel" doesn't really capture our scientific approach to staff management.

Well then, let me welcome Dave Medlicott from human resources whose topic today is "Pulling off together".

"Pulling together". There's no "off". Well, good afternoon everyone. We do seem a little shorthanded. That's a pity. You see, holding a teambuilding workshop without the full team is a bit like Manchester United training without Giggs, Beckham and Barthez. Am I right, Professor Lapping?

I suppose so. But I'm afraid that Mr Odgers is over in the engineering block making banners for February 15. And I understand that Dr Quintock is suffering from a nasty bout of seasonal affective disorder.

I did try to remind Dr Piercemuller, but apparently he's been stranded in northern Italy by the recent heavy snowfalls. So, that rather leaves Maureen and myself.

Thank you. Now, I wonder if anyone noticed anything about that little speech? Anyone? No? Well, Professor Lapping used the word "I" four times.

And that leads me straight to the first rule for teambuilding.

It's worth writing down. "There is no I in TEAM". Yes, Maureen?

I'm sorry, Mr Medlicott, but I have to get back to my office now to deal with some trivial business arising from the recent suicide of two postgraduates.

That's a great pity.

Well, at least it teaches us one important lesson about your decision to hold a teambuilding exercise on a Friday afternoon.

What's that, Professor Lapping?

There's only one you in cock-up.

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