When I was kid, I thought if I were to be a boss one day, I would call it a “tribe”, instead of a “company”.
Hence when I first saw this book, I was allured to it, thinking it will describe the concepts of how a tribe works together as an effective organization.
Some disappointment. Nonetheless it is still a good book on organization and culture.
What is a tribe?
A tribe is a group of 20-150 people, who know one another enough to say “hello” on the street.
A small company is a tribe, and a large company is a tribe of tribes.
The Five Tribal Stages
The aforementioned “theme” is also the kind of language used by the people in the tribe. The language used is a good indicator of which stage a tribe is in.
Stage 3 is the most common stage for most companies, whereby personnels believe “I am great, but you are not”. They are competent individually, yet they don’t work as a real team, yet.
A tribal leader focuses on language and behaviour within a culture.
Leader do 2 things:
- Listen for which cultures exist (there could be multiple stages)
- Upgrade to next stage using specific leverage points
Upgrade from Stage 1 to 2
- Cut ties with people who share the “life sucks” language
- Notice that others life is pretty good, and it’s possible that his may improve
Upgrade from Stage 2 to 3
- Have a mentor who is in stage 3
- Form dyadic (two-person) relationships
- Find areas where he is competent
- Assign projects that he can do well in a short time
Upgrade from Stage 3 to 4
- Form triads (three-person) relationships
- Introduce his contacts to one another by
- Shared core values
- Overlapping self-interest
- Specific opportunity where each can contribute to the work of the other
- Work on projects that are bigger than anything he can do alone
- Understand next level of success is going to require a totally different style (as a team, not as an individual)
Upgrade from Stage 4 to 5
- Stage 5 is about “global”, not just your tribe
- It is based on resonant values - core values that everyone globally shared