Employee Ranking Systems LO17532

Tue, 24 Mar 1998 20:42:22 -0800

Replying to LO17355 --

Richard Goodale writes:
> What would have happened if these two teams had chosen/been able to
> collaborate earlier and voluntarily? I would argue that the problem would
> have taken longer to solve because the dialectic power of
> thesis/antithesis would have been militated against by the increased need
> for cooperation. Essentially, my postulation is that there is some
> "proper" balance between the co-existing human needs to cooperate and
> compete which needs to be struck for significant "progress" or
> "creativity" to be made, and in the "DNA" case, this balance was achieved.

Now this strikes home to me. I've had the occasional privilege to work
closely with one or two colleagues to create a new software structure;
there is indeed a "dialectic power of thesis/antithesis" at play in teams
like that. You're constantly taking turns posing problems, proposing
solutions, shooting down each other's ideas, and/or taking the other guy's
idea and improving on it. You're also frequently expressing joy when your
teammate comes up with something good, and giving the ultimate praise by
building on it. In this case, the switch back and forth between
cooperation and competition is almost instantaneous (or more accurately,
both are going on at once). The larger context, however, is a cooperative
one: you either succeed together or fail together, and when you synthesize
something really good, the appreciation of it is shared. Solo creation
can be rewarding, but the mutual energy of this kind of teamwork can't be


Don Dwiggins SEI Information Technology d.l.dwiggins@computer.org " This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one . . . the being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy." -George Bernard Shaw

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