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IC TIG Week: Creatively Building a Team by Tamara Hamai, Ibiaso Adajames, Kadijah Williams, and Zachariah Rabah

Tamara Hamai, Ibiaso Adajames, Kadijah Williams, and Zachariah Rabah
Tamara Hamai, Ibiaso Adajames, Kadijah Williams, and Zachariah Rabah

We are the Hamai Consulting team, comprising two long-time team members, Tamara Hamai, Ph.D., who founded the company in 2008, and Ibiaso Adajames (Project Manager), MBA, PMP, who first joined the team in 2014, and two new team members, Kadijah Williams, MA, and Zachariah Rabah, MA, MS, who joined the team as Organizational Development Assistants the same week that we wrote this article.

We spent our first week as a team discussing how we will work together. Creativity was central to our success.

We, Tamara and Ibiaso, redesigned the vacant positions and our hiring process to better fit into the whole organization, before starting recruitment. The job posting was a creative demonstration of our organizational values and culture. We, Kadijah and Zachariah, creatively shared who we are, our personalities, and our skills, through the application and interview process.

During orientation, we used several creative tools to quickly communicate about who we are and what we do as an organization:

  • Our client avatar shares who we serve and how we serve them. This is a fictional person with detailed demographics, psychographics, pain points, needs, and desires.
  • Analogies help to quickly communicate abstract concepts and complex ideas.
  • Layouts and graphics, such as process flows to visualize client projects and diagrams of frameworks.
  • Consistent and intentional use of color to grab attention and make connections.

Hot Tip

Use creativity to rapidly and effectively communicate to reach shared understanding and vision.

Lessons Learned

We individually learned and collectively recognize that strategy and creativity go together. It takes intentionality and thought to be creative and to allow creative ideas to unfold into action. This also means having time to give space for creativity. The more you let an idea or concept marinate, the tastier it can become. In many work and team contexts, this marination time can be seen as lost time, but it is important and requires explicitly planning for and valuing that time.

Rad Resources

Many creative methods of communicating require images, diagrams, graphics, or illustrations. The effectiveness of creative visuals is heavily influenced by the quality of the visuals’ designs. Just as we would discourage someone without the relevant experience and skills to develop a data collection instrument, we should do not have the relevant experience and skills to do graphic design and illustrations.

We work with a team of graphic designers and illustrations who bring that expertise to our work. Some cost-effective design resources include:

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating IC TIG Week with our colleagues in the Independent Consulting Topical Interest Group. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from our IC TIG members. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators. The views and opinions expressed on the AEA365 blog are solely those of the original authors and other contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the American Evaluation Association, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

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