A common assault maneuver within the military is Cover and Move. SEAL teams practice this maneuver as it is understood that a collaborative effort between teams is many times required to achieve each teams’ objective. In many dangerous situations as well as in business, one teams goal can not be achieved without a mutual assistance with another team. Cover and Move happens as one team advances while one team is stationary to “cover” them in that advancement. After the first team’s advancement to a safe and stationary point the initial covering team will advance, resulting in a mutual and collaborative positive achievement. One general important theme is that both teams typically each have a different leader and most often differing goals but an aligned, mutually shared need. If each team advanced alone they would encounter a great and increased risk.
The basics of Cover and Move is teamwork. It seems easy but in business its easy for teams to become short sighted on smaller goals and lose sight of the overall goals. Its easy or smaller silo teams to form that work in their localized best interest and many times without knowing it working against the overall target of the organization. The smaller silo teams believe they are doing the right thing. Example would be two sales teams that are in differing locations focusing on their own sales and not acknowledging situations where they may cannibalize the sales of another location. Or two locations sharing labor resources but one team undermining and secretly sabotaging the efforts of the other. It takes the leaders of the separate teams to unselfishly help the other achieve their goals along with their own. Ultimately sharing resources to become a stronger team and not allowing their egos to work against one another.
Jocko Willick states that “Leaders must always operate with the understanding that they are part of something greater than themselves and their own personal interests.” Sounds fundamental but with ego, each situation brings emotions and opportunities to trade the overall goal for the personal human desire for success. Willick goes on to elaborate “They must impart this understanding to their teams down to the tactical-level operators on the ground.” It takes the leader of each team to understand that the success of the other team ultimately helps their own mission. They must drive that understanding down through their teams. They must see the importance of spending their own efforts selfishly to help another team to succeed.
As always, easier said than done.