chapter 4 Teamwork vs. Socialwork

Here’s yet another level in which goals and needs get confused. It’s a category of goals we call “social-work.” Socialwork is a perversion of the need to affiliate. In it, affiliation breaks free from the team objective—it is just affiliating for the fun of affiliating.

In the Stone Age, socialwork was when one caveman kept interrupting stalking the woolly mammoth to do the woolly mammoth dance. This drove the other cavemen nuts, because everyone knows you kill the mammoth first, then do your impression of it later, around the fire.

A hundred thousand years later, teams are still afflicted, at every turn, with outbreaks of the mammoth dance.

All too often, the problem isn’t just one “class clown” who can’t ...

Get The New Why Teams Don't Work now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.