Growing Together, While Apart: A STEP Story

Siobhan Ali
Wednesday 12 August 2020

By Ella Watson

Project: “How do we define what enterprise capabilities look like in real life?”

I first came across the Summer Teams Enterprise Programme when an isolation-induced pity party caught me scrolling indefinitely through Facebook. STEP represented an opportunity to make something of an otherwise boring and frankly depressing summer. I spent an entire day writing my application and promptly received an email confirming my spot.

Our first team meeting was chaotic: six strangers with no experience producing podcasts tasked with creating a series exploring the question, “What do enterprise capabilities look like in real life?”. We had each been asked to study an autobiography written by a successful entrepreneur with the aim of identifying and discussing their common attributes in our team meetings. At first glance, it might seem like a fairly straightforward task but for a group of complete strangers meeting for the first time in a virtual setting and attempting to brainstorm, discuss, and plan with very little guidance, the task seemed daunting. I came away from the meeting feeling overwhelmed and honestly ready to disengage with the whole project. But this is the challenge of STEP – we had less guidance than we might have been used to but we also had a team of like-minded individuals with the drive to create something great.

I am proud to say that is exactly what we have done! Over the past seven weeks, we have worked hard to produce our podcasts, which explore the capabilities of five exceptional entrepreneurs, with the overall aim of putting the somewhat abstract concept of “enterprise capabilities” into a real-life frame. In terms of what we have achieved as a team, it is so much more than the production of these podcasts. Despite never having met in person, we have managed to build the interpersonal relationships necessary to allow our team to function effortlessly. Under the instruction of our incredible team leader, we have managed to accomplish a task which was at first daunting. We divided into smaller sub-teams, each with a clear purpose. As individuals in these smaller teams, we have all had unique experiences in this journey: learning how to produce and edit podcasts within an impossibly short space of time, embarking on research in areas completely new to us, and creating new connections through which we can market our deliverables. Although we have all had very different roles in this project, I’m sure that we can all identify many ways in which we have drawn from the bank of skills represented by the enterprise capabilities we have become so familiar with. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity STEP has afforded me to work on my own personal skills but even more grateful that I had the chance to work with a group of such intelligent and driven people who I might be so bold as to now call my friends.

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