“He does it for his mates”

In a touching, full-page article that appeared in The Guardian, London last week about how a charity bike ride turned into a £100M fund raising phenomenon for Help for Heroes, a charity for soldiers injured in Iraq and Afghanistan, the featured quote from Bryn Parry, the founder, seemed to scream from the page, “A soldier doesn’t do it for Queen and country, he does it for his mates.”

Could there be any better expression of team spirit, the sort that makes such a difference in SERVICE-ABILITY than this? If only we could generate that amount of camaraderie in our organisations, what a difference it would make to them.

The British Army, based as it is on the regimental system, knew how to generate team spirit, camaraderie or esprit de corps as the French put it, long before we had organisations that needed management as we know it today. The military way goes back a lot further than any management theory and it seems to be able to instil team spirit to such a degree that it carries on years after men and women leave for civilian life. If they know how to do it, why shouldn’t our organisations learn from their experience?

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