Recently I had lunch with a retired U.S.Marines veteran with more than 28 years of experience (LinkedIn: Joseph Brennan). The topic of teamwork came up, and he talked about what it means to be a team on the military:
- Same ability. The military trains its soldiers to possess the same skills as everyone else, such that when one falls down in the field, another soldier can carry on the same tasks.
- Same knowledge. To maximize the efficiency of communication, every soldier in the field have access to the latest information regarding the battlefield.
- Interpret instructions the same way. Authorizations (the briefs) are always written in a clean and clear manner such that the action carried out will be the same regardless of the person asked to carry out the instructions. In a war scenario, when the person given those instructions dies, the next person given those instructions ought to be carrying out the same actions
- Efficiency of the team depends largely on the team members having the same knowledge, speed and strength. To do so, they need access to the same information
- The team can be as soon as its weakest member.
- To evaluate performance of teamwork, take out half of the team and evaluate the length of time that team can still survive given the same condition
- The military does not create specialists.
If we are to apply these methodologies into the business world, it will look something like this:
- Everyone working at the same company ought to have the same level of knowledge related to works done by the company
- In this ideology, designers should know how to write programs, and programmers ought to know design principals
- Efficiency of the work force will be greatly enhanced if every bit of information is shared among the team
- New acquired knowledge will be shared among all members of the force through either corporate emails or blogs.
- When you can get everyone to have a working style that has almost the assemblance of a single person (hive mind), projects will be much easier to handle
Related SML Universe
SML Notebook: Teamwork / 2007 / SML Notebook
SML Flickr: Teamwork / 2007 / SML Notebook
This post needs some tweaking
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