Monday, July 15, 2013

Does Your Team Fly Just Like Birds of a Feather?

(Photo credit: Kari Greer/USFS, Little Bear fire)

Everyone can see we're together
As we walk on by
And (Fly) and we fly just like birds of a feather
I won't tell no lie
(All) all of the people around us they say
Can they be that close
Just let me state for the record
We're giving love in a family dose

 ~ Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers from "We Are Family" sung by Sister Sledge

I was talking with a group of fire managers recently and the topic of ad hoc teams and established incident management teams came up as we reflected upon the Incident Management Organization Succession Planning (IMOSP) Project. If you haven't heard about the project, you may want to take a moment to look at the report.

During our discussion, we talked about ad hoc members on pre-formed teams and the effects substitutes and ad hoc members have on team performance. This got me to thinking about "The Influence of Familiarity on Teamwork and Decision Making" produced by the Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre.

Fireline Challenge
  • Read "The Influence of Familiarity on Teamwork and Decision Making."
  • Discuss with members of your team the following questions:
    • How does familiarity affect teamwork and decision making?
    • Is our team familiar with one another?
    • How do we ensure ad hoc members of the team become familiar with one another?
    • Develop a plan for working with substitutes and ad hoc members of the team to ensure trust is established and your team can effective make timely decisions.

Thanks to Brian Fennessy, Assistant Chief San Diego Fire and Rescue Department and NWCG Leadership Subcommittee representative, for sharing this resource.

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