SWAT Teams

SWAT – Special Weapons and Tactics we all know the music from the TV show. (image courtesy of the movie SWAT).

What I mean in this case is a little less intense and more about an offshoot of the building of innovation value networks.  Just as in the SWAT example this is a team of like minded individuals with special skills that choose to work together to solve the toughest problems – the best of the best.  They train together, they rely on each other and they go in and get the job done.

Here is a possible evolution to the idea in today’s organizational constraints:

  • Take your internal/external value network
  • Identify 3-4 issues in your organization that have not been resolved and you would like to see resolved.
  • Nail it down to the first one.
  • Get together as a team (on your own time) and be entrepreneurial and create a solution.
  • This is not a team to talk about and review the solution.  This is a fast analysis, plan and execute team.
  • Now take your solution for review by the powers that be to be put into practice.
  • Project X created an internal SWAT team doing some review of a client’s existing Enterprise Data Warehouse to look for cost saving ideas.

Here are some existing organizational instances that take some of these principles in their own way:

  • Google – dedicating 20% time portion of an employees time to work on things they are passionate about
  • Bell Canada – Eugene Roman’s exCITE process of timeboxing and colocation solution methodology
  • Nokia – in Y2K we implemented teams across North America to be able to respond immediately to any issues
  • My days at a Web development shop – when we saw the end of the dot coms, we pulled a group together to look at the market and come up with a way to start penetrating a new marketplace.

These are just some of the innovative ways that people already in place who know the organization and it’s problems can start solving problems, and not just talking about them.  Don’t forget, this is about leveraging internal and external value networks to create a high performance team.

Give it a try.  Tell me your story.

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