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Teamworking reviewed


Publisher: Xebec McGraw-Hill
Format: 8 modules on 3 CD-Roms plus paper workbook (also available as 8 online courses)
Price: £1199

There is material here of use and sometimes inspiration for everyone who works with or has relationships with others, and that is more or less the entire population. You actually have to work at this pack to appreciate its quality - a cursory glance will not do. This is appropriate enough, because the same applies to being effective in a team this message comes across really clearly.

I do have some specific criticisms, for example:-

1.The technically challenged would find it difficult, initially, when working on their own, to find out how to start and where the workbook fits in. But..this is the new world folk, and if you persevere you will find out !

2. Some of the information on which the student is required to make judgements in the exercises is too sparse, for example in the exercise about team goals the specific expectations of the team's management is left open. A specific brief would make the judgement more of a learning tool.

3. The use of more than one storyline make it more interesting but also more confusing. One begins to get the hang of TV production and suddenly one switches to the publishing world or the world of fashion. It also disturbed me when instead of proceeding consecutively, sometimes the story line goes back in time.

4. In describing the technique of brainstorming, the editors (who are anonymous) suggest this is a slow tool whereas what they mean is that the entire process of focussing down and sharing takes time. Surely brainstorming itself has to be quick?

5. There are some technical blips. From time to time the voice over got stuck and once I had one of those threatening 'fatal' messages.

However, by and large I would highly recommend this pack. It is well thought out, the role-plays are in good, clear English, the graphics are really excellent and the exercises are well planned and encourage thoughtful learning. There is a gallant attempt to show a multi-ethnic workforce not dominated by the usual white male, although there is no indication of real challenges of diversity in employing people of varying abilities. I would suggest that this is good value for money, either for purchase by consultant trainers, individuals seeking to improve their managerial or relationship skills, or as a stimulating in-house resource tool from which whole teams can learn enjoyably.

Reviewed by Judith Usiskin.


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