Unite the Tribes Excerpts

Leadership skills for technology managers

Foster A Culture Of Mobility


Move it or lose it

Many people are uncomfortable with change. Sometimes it's because they finally have their nest feathered and they don't want something screwing it up. Other times they're just plain lazy and don't want to go to the trouble of learning something new. People also fear the unknown. However, all of these things are highly dependent upon the culture.

A medieval European villager would hate to move all the time. They built houses, grew crops and built a life on one specific piece of land. For the most part, this is where they were born and where they died. They did move from time to time, but it was usually because marauding invaders ran them off. History tells us that they were none to pleased about this sort of thing.

In contrast, a Mongol was nomadic by nature. Housing was portable and their culture was built on the back of a horse. They moved from place to place based on the seasons, available resources and whether or not someone else was shooting arrows at them. In the days before Genghis Khan, the tribes were somewhat less than united.

Despite vastly different cultures, these two groups had something in common. Both were happy.

Tech moves fast and change is a constant. You may not care for horses or barbarians, but if you want your company to survive and thrive you'd do well to adopt the perspective of our nomadic friends. This is something you should consider at hiring time as well as in the atmosphere you cultivate in your organization. No matter what corner of the industry you work in, a change is gonna come. Depending on whether you have villagers or nomads, your people will either be happy or uncomfortable about this. Which attitude do you think will serve you better?

Your successes come from your people. Build a workforce that takes pride in mobility, and you'll soon find that you have all the advantages that come from an army full of cavalry.

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