The value of the TEA’s codex series

The Themed Entertainment Association recently published the first skills codex video via their youtube channel.

The video offers excellent advice on the fundamentals of networking skills for incoming nextgen members from a vast array of trusted industry experts.

While the codex series is primarily targeted at the incoming nextgen members, its potential extends well beyond the utility proposed on the surface.

That’s because learning is hard. Teaching is hard. Disseminating information and bringing together collaborative talent under it, is hard. And invaluable to everybody.

While at Imagineering, I started up an informal group called “beers and gears”. On the surface, the purpose was to help other technical folks quickly learn about motor control – even if their background was in web development, or A/V controls. But the group served deeper purposes, including

  • building camaraderie in a fun, deadline free environment
  • learning how to help and communicate with each other (we worked in collaborative pairs)
  • combating defensive behaviors (which can be poisonous when relying on each other to complete a project)
  • empowering people through their core talents (the intention was that anyone could and should teach at some point)

Large organizations with persistent staff lend themselves well to such investments in team-building and education investments.

However, in an industry once described as having “only five people in this themed entertainment business” – due to the inherent web of specialized firms acting in different supply chain positions on a project-by-project basis – technical team building and education investments can easily fall at the wayside. That’s because the team members as well as the teachers are spread across multiple organizations. They may even be in direct competition with one another.

Why would you want to make your competitor stronger?

Personally, I believe when your competitors are your friends, the answer is clear.

Steve Birket gives a better answer though, in coopera-tition. From the article above:

Coopera-tition is found where the competitors are focused on reaching a higher-value creation

Cooperation enables us to build better, stronger, higher-value projects. Together.

Likewise creating education programs that bridge the gap across organizations reaches far beyond strengthening our workforces. In the spirit of coopera-tition it bolsters our ability to build better, stronger, higher-value projects. Together.

That’s the true value of the codex series. It holds the potential to enable the strength that comes from well-tuned, trust-rich teams across multiple organizations in a way that would only otherwise be available to very large, integrated, and persistent business structures.