The waterline test

I came across a really insightful post to the Harvard Business Review faculty blog by Teresa Amabile and Steve Kramer called Declaring Independence in the Workplace. The post deals mainly with problems that ensue when upper management micromanages their teams, and how team professionals deserve a “Declaration of Independence” of their own – independence to do their work without undue interference from above.

I began to draw many Scouting allegories from this, going back to the “Green Bar” Bill Hillcourt advice to train ’em, trust ’em and let ’em lead as we must do with our Scouts. However, one of the comments jumped off the page at me, full of meaning for the adult role in Boy Scouting. Continue reading “The waterline test”

The People Issues: Problem characters

Have you ever been in a committee meeting and had the experience where two participants are like oil and water? They absolutely refuse to agree on common ground or see the other’s point. Other times it’s like you are Sisyphus, and instead of things rolling along, it’s like rolling a boulder uphill. What’s worse is when you are one of them, and you are supposed to be in charge of the meeting,

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The People Issues: Relationship guidelines

Have you ever studied the characteristics of high-performance teams? In Wood Badge, and in many corporate teambuilding programs, you’ve learned about how groups of people interact. Most likely you remember the terms Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing, and when you hear those words you probably even visualize the four-square diagram sometimes used to illustrate the process. Well, in order to become a performing team, you need to get past the forming and storming to reach a phase of norming.

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…if it weren’t for the adults!

Recently, a fellow Bobwhite tweeted a comment about something he heard at his troop meeting that evening. One of the Webelos Den Leaders visiting the meeting had been impressed by the fact that the elected youth leadership planned and ran the meeting, and plan and conduct the campouts and the annual program. I retweeted him with the observation that “in a well-run troop, it actually works that way.” Continue reading “…if it weren’t for the adults!”