The process of building a team is something that many of us have led…or at least attempted.  At a minimum we’ve been part of it as a participant.  How’d it go?  Back in December I referred to a book about to be released by David Maister, Strategy and the Fat Smoker (unusual name, great metaphor).  It’s out now and I think you might find it helpful.  Short chapters; each one packed with a definite take-away.

This morning’s chapter made me think about many of the times I’ve been part of an organization that valued teamwork…but struggled to make it happen when it came right down to it.  I think I see why it didn’t work.  Check out my version of a diagram that details the struggle many of our organizations face.

Here’s the gist.  There are two basic kinds of people.  Interdependent team players and independent solo artists.  And then there are two basic motivations: immediate needs and future needs.

The challenge in any organization is the attempt to help the basic kinds of people (with two possible motivations) to link arms and cooperate as members of a team.  Can it happen?  Can you imagine the day when the mountain lion lays down with the beaver?  Or maybe the human?  How about the wolf pack and a beaver or two?  I think you’re getting the same point that I did!

There isn’t a diagnostic (like a Myers Briggs) to test for type, but I think the categories are self-evident.  So if you looked over your office, what do you think your breakdown is?  What type are you?

Want more?  You might want to pick up a copy of this one.  You can get your’s Right Here.

Netflix, Inc.

Team Players vs. Solo Artists