“Only the guy who isn’t rowing has time to rock the boat.” – Jean-Paul Sartre
The image of the crew team, usually at dawn, rowing in sync as the scull cuts through the water, is often used to symbolize the harmonious teamwork required to make progress.
But in order to sync (rather than sink), certain elements need to be present.
Training: Can’t just toss people in metaphorical boats, throw them oars and expect them to cross the finish line in record time. In higher education institutions, we should have no excuse to have ill-trained staff; educating is the business we’re in…..
Talent: Who’s going to be in the bow or the stern? Who’s going to be the coxswain? Who’s going to maintain the boat, the oars? And not only who is going to do that now, but who’s going to do it in a few years when the talent retires, gets promoted, or gets a better offer from the team down the road? See also: Succession planning….
Tools: Best team in the world can’t perform if the boat has holes. Equip your team properly. I’m a fan of ITIL and PMBOK, but in order to have these be effective, you’ve got to provide the processes and systems to the team.
Planning: Many failed projects suffer from lack of upfront planning. Recently I was in a discussion where we were outlining a high level approach on a large project, and it was clear that while well-intentioned, the time-frames put forth were not well-informed. Better to put “TBD” and schedule the (hard) work of planning the work and working the plan than “make s*** up.”
Row in sync, or sink.
The deal between Arizona State and Starbucks is fascinating. Encourage all to read about it. Here’s one article: http://chronicle.com/article/In-Deal-With-Starbucks/147181/?cid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en
Well worth the ~ 15 minutes to watch “Frozen” director Jennifer Lee’s @UofNH commencement speech: http://www.unh.edu/universityevents/commencement/
Recommend this post on big data & small data by Daniel Gutierrez: http://inside-bigdata.com/2014/03/24/big-data-vs-small-data-difference/ Here’s an quote: “BIG data is just data. Yes, types, size, velocity, etc. categorize BIG data, but it is still data and must be handled and managed as such.”
And last but not least; how about that Game of Thrones finale…. and the US soccer team win over Ghana. Both thrilling.