29 July 2009

A-Team versus MacGyver

Borrowing a theme from Bas de Baar's blog, let's talk about the A-Team and MacGyver.

Both shows were the awesomest shows ever. And please, let's not reignite the ugly A-Mac flamewars from the early 90's. As I said, I think we can all agree both shows were the awesomest. Please, put away your Swiss Army Knives and/or pickup truck with sheets of metal welded onto it.

Instead, the question I'd like to pose is, which show is a better model for project leadership?

No, we're not going to debate the relative merits of swiss army knives versus vehicles with sheetmetal welded onto them. Instead, let's talk about the underlying problem solving approach the two shows used. These approaches can be described as "I love it when a plan comes together" (A-Team) and "I'll figure it out when I get there." (MacGuyver).

Both shows involved resourcefulness. And let me say it again, both were equally awesome. But one clearly relied on planning before execution, while the other was more focused on improvization during execution.

Given the technological, social and economic environment we find ourselves in these days, I'm going to say MacGuyver's approach is probably the most productive model to follow. And I just know Mr. T is going to call me a fool for saying that...

1 comment:

Craig Brown said...

Funny you have this post. In my project team we have a few smaller teams, and the first two names were MacGyver and A-Team. (The third was The Golden monkeys and the fourth will possibly be Magnum.)

Assigning team names based on cheesy 80’s TV shows is one of the few real pleasures of leadership.