Expendable People LO19881

Mon, 16 Nov 1998 16:59:07 -0800

Replying to LO19647 --

tom abeles writes:
> In essence, the need to retain knowledge within the corporation becomes
> less than critical if it can be obtained on an as needed basis.

> Indeed, as John suggests, organizations will be driven by a few, the
> bankers, and skill based persons, even those in the knowledge arena will
> be inventoried to be drawn from "supply" on an as needed/ as available
> basis.

> People have used sports as the ultimate model of team building and the
> need to have a cooperative organization when, in fact, today, we see
> individuals moving as easily between teams as needed, often working for
> the same team more than once. Sports- the ultimate ephemral or virtual
> learning organization

> The idea of not down sizing in reorganizing and the idea of a permanent
> community of workers retraining and rebuilding the organization as it
> evolves may be a vision trying to recapture the past.

There is a cost to be paid, however, in the "pool of talent" approach. In
team sports, for example, the value of team "jell" (roughly, integration)
is well known -- there are many examples in sports history of
well-integrated teams beating other teams who were, on an individual
comparitive basis, much more talented. (In my field, software
development, some of the best- respected writers have made the same point
about effective development teams.) In fact, teams will mostly exchange
players to try to get those who will work best _with the rest of the


Don Dwiggins SEI Information Technology d.l.dwiggins@computer.org "Four brave men who do not know each other will not dare to attack a lion. Four less brave, but knowing each other well, sure of their reliability and consequently for their mutual aid, will attack resolutely." -- Colonel Charles Ardnant du Picq

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