Friday, July 24, 2020

Trusting vs interests

After dinner, [Churchill said] that he had only one single purpose – the destruction of Hitler – and his life was much simplified thereby. If Hitler invaded Hell he would at least make a favourable reference to the Devil!
Suffice to say, a colorful way of saying that there are circumstances in which we agree that we have common interests to cooperate and solve a problem, but don't ask me to trust you, at least not without independent verification

And so one wonders: every PM text on teamwork in a project has a chapter on trust and trust worthiness.
Fair enough
But, is is possible to run a project successfully on the basis of aligned interests where there might not be trust in all its dimensions?

I submit that in the domain I worked most -- building systems for the US military and its agencies -- that often was the time I was aligned with a competitor to do a job jointly, while on the next job competing fiercely with that same competitor.

Did we trust them? Sure, to some extent, but warily. Alignment of interests requires some level of trust, but wariness and demand for verification is allowed, if not demanded.


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