Tuesday, October 12, 2010

"Teamwork in Decline at Federal Agencies"

Fire leaders build cohesive teams--not simply groups of individuals putting forth individual efforts--to accomplish missions in high-risk environments.
(Leading in the Wildland Fire Service, p. 52)


We "talk the talk" but do we "walk the talk"? Tom Fox, Partnership for Public Service, recently wrote about recent a declining trend of teamwork in federal agencies. In "Teamwork in Decline at Federal Agencies" he refers to a survey conducted by Partnership for Public Service which found that "teamwork is not always apparent in the federal work space."

Building cohesive teams is woven throughout the fabric of the Wildland Fire Leadership Development Program (WFLDP). Even so, we must make a concerted effort to build and sustain those relationships. As Fox says, "It is not always easy to get everyone on the same page, and to put aside their own egos, self-interest and agendas for the good of the group and the larger mission."

The following references may help fire leaders build and maintain cohesive teams.

L-380 Crew Cohesion Assessment

Leading in the Wildland Fire Service - Building the Team, pp. 52-55

  • Trust
  • Healthy Conflict
  • Commitment
  • Peer Accountability
  • Team Results
  • Resilience

Wildland Fire Leadership Values and Principles - Respect: Build the team.

  • Conduct frequent debriefings with the team to identify lessons learned.
  • Recognize individual and team accomplishments and reward them appropriately.
  • Apply disciplinary measures equally.

WFLDP Leadership Toolbox and Followership to Leadership Course

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