Commander's CornerBy Col. Carol L. Lynn, CAP Nevada Wing Commander
COLLABORATION and COOPERATION
Collaboration - process of working together to the same end
Cooperation - action of working with someone to produce or create or achieve something
Members, both Cadet and Adult, who remain in CAP and work their way through the organization have heard the terms "collaboration" and "cooperation" numerous times. These terms are not unique to CAP, but they are two of the primary underpinnings for all three of our mission areas, membership development, customer outreach, and public relations.
I am writing this while I sit and listen to the lesson presentations given by the cadet cadre at encampment. There are numerous threads of cooperation woven through every presentation that builds into the growth of collaboration within the flights. Moving the students from individuals to effective teams is a major goal of the encampment program. This goal should not reside only in the cadet program.
Adult members arrive at our program from different walks of life with different sets of skills and abilities. While each and every background adds to our organization capabilities overall, our true effectiveness begins when we begin to cooperate and share our abilities, talents, and experiences in order to develop our organizational strength.
All of this seems easily accomplished, but it is not. It takes hard work, patience, and trust. Why trust? Members need to trust that squadron mates or Wing mates are working and training with equal focus toward a common goal. If that trust faulters, attempts at cooperation and collaboration will also faulter.
I consider the task of building this trust lies in everyone's hands. How do we all assist in developing this trust? There is no formula for developing trust between members, it is a process that takes time, work, and cooperation with support from squadron and Wing leadership. The process will build from trust, to cooperation, to collaboration at which point there is the beginning of a strong foundation upon which a squadron/Wing can move into coordination and then on to collaboration to design and build an effective CAP program.