The Declaration of Interdependence: Teaming

The world – our Deep Space Nine – needs a new mission that is based not on the ideologies and geographies and histories that divide us, but on our shared, fundamental drive to bond together for the satisfaction of our needs, for the progress of our enterprises, and, perhaps, for our very survival. That mission will involve meaningful, sustainable, freely-chosen giving. And for that mission to succeed, teamwork will become essential. Not just the word, teamwork, but a new dynamic of being, governed by meaningful, sustainable, freely-given teamwork.

  • People give to each other, and that bonds them. But when each person gives to something higher than a person, their giving is capable of reaching a new level – not just of giving, but also of gaining personal satisfaction. When this phenomenon is fully understood, deployed, and supported in enterprises, new and higher level of team contribution becomes possible. It is through enhancing interdependence that it goes from possibility to reality.
  • An enterprise, be it personal, social, or commercial, and the team or teams that comprise it, depends on its members to meet its needs. To restate: Teams cannot meet their own needs. The needs of a team can only be met if the team members, collectively, meet those needs. If the team members do not meet the needs of the team, the team will not meet its mission.
  • For the needs of any team to be met, teamwork is essential. And, the three governing elements of teamwork must be present. 
  • The first element: Each person must make meaningful contributions of a unique type to their team. Each of those people will thus fill a need of the team that is also a deeply held need of theirs – the need to make a meaningful contribution to something bigger than themselves. 
  • The closer the alignment between the person’s need – the manner in which they are deeply moved to make their unique and meaningful contributions – and the day-to day elements that make up the unique ‘job,’ the more engaged the person will be in the making of their contributions.
  • The second element: Each person on the team must make a unique and meaningful contribution that is essential for the success of the mission of the team. If their unique contribution is not needed by the team, they will not find the essential fit between their needs and that of the team.
  • If every person on the team is needed by the team, and every team need is fulfilled, the team has the ability to succeed. At minimum, there is productivity, which is linked to need satisfaction. And, occasionally, what seems miraculous actually happens.
  • The third element: Each person on the team is worthy of respect. To be effectively experienced, that respect must be given in alignment with the manner in which that person makes their meaningful contributions to the team. To restate: Respect is not generic. If you are a respectful person, you may still get it wrong with any given person. There is a reason.
  • Respect people for the manner in which they make meaning contributions to the team. Value those contributions, whether or not you think they are as important as your contributions, because whether or not you know it, they are.
  • Some teams are very fast-moving (start-ups tend in that direction) while others resist change (bureaucracies, in general, are like this.) And some have other specific requirements that cut across all the people, filling all the team’s needs, at once. Some examples, aside from the speed-of-change one, are things like the level of chattiness desired or the amount of distance teaming tolerated without interference. These are often termed part of the organizational culture or DNA. They are direct reflections of what the team needs for it to succeed.

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