The initial motivation for Teams, Packs and Chains was to provide substantive meaning for solutions to the problem of non-physical concatenation (RMT 9:2 432-433). Once posited, it is intriguing to ask how Teams, Packs and Chains relate and progress.
A Pack succeeds when any member succeeds. It works best when everyone tries something different -- like hunting for food in the Artic. Any new project begins as Pack searching, abduction, intuitive leaps, wild hypotheses, anything goes,brainstorming. The only agreement is in what the core problem most likely,probably, might be.
A Chain relies on solidarity. It works when everyone is in lock step, but it fails when any member stumbles -- like a link of a chain breaking. As projects develop,as possibilities are separately, accidentally encountered, the need for coordination emerges. Only Chain-building can weave a cooperating work force. Chain-building is deduction, if there is a single break, gap, disagreement in the chain, then there is no future for the project.
A Team relies on consensus. Nothing happens till all agree -- like a well-functioning jury. Disagreement paralyzes. The aim of Chain-building is a workingTeam. As agreement develops, not only does the problem become sharply defined,but so also does its seemingly best solution. A Team emerges when members become united in the induction they are to undertake, in the experiment that will test the wild Pack hypothesis that was abducted, and in the Chain deductions which follow from it.
The core sequence is Pack to Chain to Team. Each time a challenge is faced by a Team, its solution may succeed, encouraging the Team to continue cooperation. Or its solution may fail. In failure, there are two options:
a) become defensive, circle the wagons, regress to a previous Chain in desperate hope of weathering the storm and regaining the Team mentality of "good old days". If this strategy fails, the Chain disintegrates destroying the Team, and the former members are forced to fend for themselves.
b) become aggressive, send out scouts, progress to new Pack behavior in ambitious hope of constructing a better project, leading to a better Chain and thence a betterTeam. If this fails, members may fall back into a defensive Chain or disintegrate.
Only a Pack can solve hard problems. Darwinian evolution and the human immune system are Pack processes. Only when problems can be made easy, because we have become better able to manage them, can Team-work succeed. In betweenTeams and Packs, there is the necessity of Chain building and maintenance, but also the danger of Chain breakage.
Benjamin D. Wright
Wright B.D. (1996) Pack to Chain to Team. Rasch Measurement Transactions 10:2 p. 501.
Pack to Chain to Team. Wright B.D. Rasch Measurement Transactions, 1996, 10:2 p. 501
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