One of the things that the web has got to offer is the possibility of bumping into different interesting articles that certainly provide some thought-provoking insights about team work and collaboration worth while going through several times to digest them. That is what happens with articles such as this one: Team Building Humor Strengthens a Team Identity or Spirit.
The article itself provides you with a very good overview on how humour, basically, having fun, can be a crucial success factor for teams to get together and work more efficiently and effectively, specially when they are distributed across different geographies and timezones. It is widely known and acknowledged how having fun while at work can increase productivity not only from an individual perspective but also from a team / community perspective. And certainly Team Building Humor Strengthens a Team Identity or Spirit just confirms that.
In fact, I am sure that as you get busy reading the article you will be nodding a number of times thinking how accurate its contents are. Specially with quotes like these:
“Humor is a powerful tool in building more cohesive groups.”
“A successful team must be flexible, and must know how to reduce the tension that results from conflicting ideas about how to deal with a problem”
However, and with all that said, the most interesting part of the article itself is the section titled: How Humor Creates Winning Teams where you will see listed a number of different items to take into account in order to help teams / communities become much more focused on collaborating effectively. Here is a quick drop down of those items:
You can read some more about each of them in the article itself. But from the list itself I think that perhaps the most fundamental success factor for teams and communities to collaborate is trust, because without it any group would not have the right common background to grow further and collaborate with one another. Teams / communities that do not have an environment based on trust would certainly have things much more complicated. And although they may eventually succeed in getting things done in the end that collaboration will break at some point. So although humour may be a key success factor for collaborating amongst virtual teams / communities it is trust that needs to be fostered and encouraged throughout. And the easiest and most effective way of nurturing trust amongst peers is through social capital. Thus if you are ever getting involved in collaborating and working together with a team make sure that social capital is an integral part of the core activities of the team / community and the rest will flow naturally.