Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Kilauea as a Case Study for Cross-Functional Teamwork

Video by Tim O’Hara. This park was overtaken by lava on July 12, 2018


I’ve been watching the slow-moving disaster that is occurring in the Puna Region on the Big Island of Hawaii.

As I’ve watched this drama evolve, I’ve been impressed by how everyone involved is trying to work with the environment instead of trying to control it.  I’ve also been impressed by how everyone is working very hard to understand the perspective of the other team members and stakeholders.

A few observations on this event as I watch it from the safety of my home half a world away:

THIS is what collaboration and teamwork should look like.

  • Working with, the environment you find yourself in. What you are dealing with is likely not nearly as life-threatening or destructive, but the complications and the pace of change are likely similar.
  • Clear priorities.
  • Strong, respected leadership.
  • Carefully defined roles.
  • Mutual respect between the team members and between the team and the stakeholders.


The best place to watch what is happening is Big Island Video News on YouTube.

PS: If you watch nothing else – listen to this teleconference with Wendy Stovall discussing the emotional impact of her work as a USGS Volcanologist during the early stages of the eruption.


If you wish to help the people at Puna – Big Island Hawaii, KHON2 has a list of current donation sites. 



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