Summer 1991 // Volume 29 // Number 2 // Commentary // 2LET5

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Getting to the Point 2


Boone (To the Point, Fall 1990) emphasized the need for greater teamwork for successful issues programming and argued training is the key for encouraging staff to cross the organizational lines that keep them from greater teamwork. In response, Malone urged the elimination of organizational and other lines.

While I endorse the authors' concerns for improving teamwork, I'm uncomfortable with their solutions. I hypothesize that the level of teamwork in Extension is a matter of motivation or incentives. Enough literature demonstrates that motivation, rather than training and reorganization, is the key to effective teamwork.

If training is to play a role, it must begin with training Extension leadership in understanding and addressing the factors that provide motivation for teamwork. Boone's "set of general competencies" has little relationship to teamwork development.

Yates, the second respondent to Boone, is right on target when she cites the need for "getting innovative team players to the top levels of administration."

David L. Holder
National Program Leader
Extension Service-USDA
Washington, D.C.