Sometimes we inter-change the description of the people around us that we do things with – team, crew, posse, church, mates, etc. However it is sometimes worth looking a little deeper – if you want the background to this post check out some deeper thinking from Dave Snowden of Cognitive Edge at Click Here
The benefit of thinking more about this is to really understand what we are looking for from the people around us. Do we want blind followers, cheerleaders or water carriers? Or do we really want a selection of people who when we are added to the mix are greater than the sum of their parts and do a really great job?
Snowden (and others) suggest that crews are brought together for a period of time. Each member of the crew has a specific and defined role (which may not be related to the authority of that person outside the crew environment). This is often true in military flight crew where the pilot is in charge but may not be the most senior office on the flight deck.
Crews are therefore different from say sports teams where the captain of the team is selected irrespective of the role they play.
Flight crews work because flying a plane is a very systemised process, the roles have been clearly defined for many years. Crews on sailing boats and in fire stations follow similar patterns but as the tasks become less process specific the crew designation starts to fall into more of a structured team.
What Snowden suggests is that approaching our groups as crews available to carry out a project whenever required without negotiation of resource could radically alter our organisational structures.
At Hunter Moore we see this being most effective when looking at process improvement. Being together a “crew” of rank agnostic people with a wide understanding of the business is an ideal way to get some of the best ideas for making your process better.
So whatever you call those around you it is always good to have some “crew” mentality because those around you are not the sum of individuals they are the interactions and space between those individuals as well. we are part of a complex system when being with others and as such we need to keep our minds moving to different locations so that we see as much of the whole as possible.