2012 Year in Review

Published: December 27, 2012

Slowing down to savor the year's highlights brings a blend of satisfaction and anticipation. From team to team, the stories of courage, innovation, and transformation have a unifying theme: harnessing adversity to fuel growth and change. Consider a few examples.

  •  A second-year Teach for America professional inspired a network of generosity to build a resource library for her middle school classroom.
  • A global consumer products team created packaging that made healthy and nutritious snacks more attractive and accessible to children.
  •  A local retailer launched a customer experience initiative designed to link shopper needs with product qualities.
  •  A rehabilitation facility designed physical therapy techniques that hastened athletes’ readiness to return to the field of play safely.
  •  A non-profit organization developed prevention education methods that reduced the incidence of risk-taking behaviors in teens.
  •  A national telecommunications company diverted tons of used equipment from the waste stream to recycle opportunities.
  • A regional accounting firm volunteered expertise to a local college to teach young adults basic money management skills.

Each of these examples arose from a willingness to try something new in the face of challenge. Rather than giving in to the fear that often accompanies struggle, each of these teams stopped to decipher the opportunity that was hidden within the pain and convert it to something innovative. As a result, they are leaving 2012 in better condition than when they entered.

Will your team be one of our 2013 stories?

Photo of Steve Ritter, the co-founder of The Center for Team Excellence

Steve Ritter

Steve Ritter is an internationally recognized expert on team dynamics whose clients include Fortune 500 companies, professional sports teams, and many educational organizations. He is on the faculty of the Center for Professional Excellence at Elmhurst University where he earned the President's Award for Excellence in Teaching. Steve is the former Senior Vice President, Director of Human Resources at Leaders Bank, named the #1 Best Place to Work in Illinois in 2006 and winner of the American Psychological Association's Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award in 2010. Steve provides ongoing workplace culture consultation to many thriving companies including Kraft Foods, Advocate Health Care, Kellogg's, the Chicago White Sox, AthletiCo, and Northwestern Mutual Financial Network.