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STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
TEAM WORK IN THE EXPERIMENT STATION
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Agricultural Ponference:--
When I submitted this topic "What the Other Fellow
Should do to Promote Team Work in ivy Department" I had in mind"
entirely a different line of discussion than'the question has
brought out in the minds of the program committee. It-is natur-
ally to be expected when one uses words that the cther fellow will
interpret tiose words in the direction of the thoughts in his own
mind. My express ion at that time has undoubtedly been at fault.
It seems to have created in the minds of the progra.i coramittee the
idea of a'discussion of teau work -j.s a whole in the three divisions
of our Agricultural Conference. Te iaoint I wished to raise in
submitting this question w7as to have a number of speakers state
concisely just wherein the "other fellow" could slightly iodify.
his work so as to mailk the whole prove a cooperative piece of work.
In other words, to promote a general team work in our different
lines of activity.
Team work may be broad or narrow according to the people
who are cooperating or nho are gi'Vng their endeavors for accom-
plishing a certain result. In mr, travels through parts of Flo-
rida I have found liverymen who called a horse and buggy a team,
and I suppose they could go before the local courts and prove that
their terminology was correct. The vernacular employed in ny
'4~, ,-'-- ~'' .
surroundings contended that to have a 'tteamm one must have at
least two horses and might have as many more as is possible to
harness and handle under the guidance of one man.
Team work in colloquial vernacular has attached to it a
very different meaning. The best illustration of team work is
found in the foot ball team. It is in thi sense that I think
we will discuss the matter of team work today. Of course every
man who discusses the question of team work today has a right to
put his own definition of what he means by team work. My paper
today, however, discusses team work in the sense that it is used
on the foot baJ3 grounds. Of course we can use many other terms
that will in a way express the idea more or less clearly, but none
that h3s t9e forcehfu and clear meaning to it as the terse term
"tea~-r ?ork" as applied on the foot ba)1 grounds.
The antithesis of team work is individualistic work.
Ta,:ing our i3.lustration from the foot ba]3 grounds. we find that
certain in-livdua33s make extremely fine players for one dr another
portion of the field, but are found absolutely useless on the team
for certain qualities in their make-up that the Coach designates
as team work.
DEVELOPMENT CO TEAM WORK
All' of our sports and a31 of our work have h;d to go
through a considerable number of stages of development. Roughly
speaking we may call the first or crystallization stage a pioneer
stage in which there is neither team work or individualistic work,
This is true especially of rhe settlement of our country. The
pioneer moved to the frontier and had to adapt himself to the sur-
roundings indiviGually and alone. He built his hutj4 tapped,
hunted, and possibly tended a small patch. By and by his social
instantt compelled him to find a wife. Then his troubles began.
Naturally he was an individualist and needed to protect on3y him-
self and his small belongings. His behavior toward the Indians
was such as to male himi stand alone on his own responsibility.
His behavior toward Nature was exactly in the saae i3ne. As soon
as he had a wife to protect aad live in harmony with he os't a cer-
tain amount of his individuality and became responsible for some'
one more than himself. Finally he had his family to provide for
and be responsible for. The on icoes are that such a 'caip was so
much of an iidivdua i3st that his f-'i3y remained witih him only
so long as it was absolutely necessary. Tnegyounger generation
probably moved far enough axay to get outside of his influence.
The distance to w7,ich they iioved was probably gauged largely by
the degree of individualist that ne was. As the country gradually
settled up, more or less team work was brought aoout either by
compulsion from the savages or by the advantages of colimunal work.
As the pioneer conditions gave way to rural settlement, more and
more individuality had to be surrendered and more and more the
work taken up in a communal way. that is, team work taken.uT.
Some communities had individuals living in them iwo by their
natural endowment were able to promote the general welfare and
dominate the situation to-such an extent as to leave the leader
a direct individualist. However, sooner or later the team work
and the communal idea prevailed. This gave rise to what might
'be called Jocalized team work. Of course in some communities
a number of individuals arose who were strong individualists.
The community under those conditions failed, to prosper and in
some cases became entirely extinct as a community. From the team
work. of the community has spread the general idea of teoa: work
not only for the State but for the Nation as a whole. it is
called by all sorts of names, Conservatism being one type;
State Control is another; Mobilization is another; Efficiency, also
in a measure. and many other termis'that have coie into general
T havaegiven this general but very brief outline of the
development of the community. When the community hS b advanced
sufficiently to get out of the.individualistic ideal a3l sorts ,
of public institutions sprang up. The first institution that arose
in answer to the demand for team work was the State University.
These were quickly followed by Agricultural Colleges, Normal
Schools, and various other Colleges supported by taxation. I
am now of course speaking of the grdat interior of the United States
and the West Coast. The Atlantic seaboard had grafted on it so
much of European ideals, whether French, iEglish or German, as to
inhibit that area from from an expression of their development.
These different institutions had to go through their
individualistic periods, and during these pe iods the State Uni-
versity fought the Agricultural College or the Norma3 School
as the case might be, and the Normal School fought other insti-
tutions, and the same with the Agricultural Colleges. This
period is not entirely passed, as was clearly' evidenced by the
meeting at Washington in Novemner. Those state institutions
that were separate from the Agricultural Colleges fought to the
finish to keep the Agricu3tural Colleges frorj securing the Fed-
eral appropriation for the Engineering Experiment Stations.
In a good many states, however, the different public
institutions found it decidedly destructive to their best inter-
ests to keep up this individualistic warfare.* So that wee l the
condition in several states whqre the State U1hiversity, the Agricul-
tural College the orma3 college and other colleges joined hands;
each one determined what was lae-ed for its support, and all of
them Joined in an assault on the Legislature. This was the con-
dition that maintained in Flordita in 3905. The various State-
supported institutions (numbering seven) tacitly or practica3ly
combined to make their united assault on the Legislature. It
appears that the Legislature in self defense rather than because
of superhuman vision, combined all of these institutions under one
Board and provided for the establishment of four units.
The general history of the Experijmint Stations is not
very different from the history of the collective institutions.
On the establishment of the Experiment Stations some 500 to
3000 men from different walks of life were assembled in little
groups ranging froii 7 to 20. The sudden demand for scientific
workers that could reasonably be expected to give a service com-
mensurate with the money paid for it, was beyond the supply,
NaturaJ)ly hundreds of employees were assembled who had absolutely
no team interest in the institution. Very frequently these men
were assembled because they were individualistic and for that
reason had stood out more or less prominently either in the State
or the Nation. Under the conditions, of the staff as it existed
at the beginning of the Experiment Stations, the fellow who was
the best advertif naturally got the Uiggest share of the funds.
Frequently two, and sometimes even more men on a staff were strong
competitors for recognition for favor and for funds. As might be
expected, war within the ranks arose and at times tPe governing
boards became disgusted with the entire mob and discharged them
wholesale, director and all, and a new start was made.. Sometimes
the evil was recognized and proper steps taken to correct it.
In those primitive daVs a great many things occurred that would at
the present time seem ridiculous in the extreme. I have personal
knowledge of a case that illustrates the se of mind that at one
time existed. A friend of mine accosted a member of the staff
with the inquiry as to whether the director knew where the
staff member was going, d he replied that it was none of the
director's business where the staff member was going or what his
business was. Imagine one of the players on a foot ball squad
assuming the attitude that it was no' y's business but his own
what he was going to do with the ball. This of course is an
extreme case of individualism. the farthest possible removal
from team work. It was/a case of egoism on the part' of the
If our Agricultural Conferences at the lRorida Univer-
sity are to count for anything we must gettfaway froir, glittering
generalities and get down to studying tne good points as well as.
the bad points in our work. Naturally it is acil more pleasant
and may indeed be quite as helpful, to point out a3I tne good
qualities and leave unsaid anything about our failures. Let
us again revert P the simile of the foot bl.1 team. How nuch
would the tears accojop3 isl if the coach confined himself to bragging
about the good points of the individuals. Naturally he does not
go up to the player and tell him he isa fwleaad but does state
the first principles of team work. He tries to nave the player
correct his errors without actually telling him that he is Using
his gray matter in the wrong way. The plays are so well mapped
out that each player must know instinctively what move to make
next. Fortunately for a foot ball team the plays can be re-
hearsed a sufficient number of times to make the movements almost
automatic. In our Experiment Staff it rarely occurs that the same
play sl repeated. A new play is on the board eer y day. The
formation co-ttinues from year o year arid vey few changes in per-
sonel occur. Sp andid time for that is afforded. The time
and freedom for work is nowhere equalled in the fikited States.
In spite of all of these opportunities we have from time to time
shining 13lustrations of individuals who in their general behavior
and their attitude toward others show clearly that they have no
sympathy or patience with team work. In fact they are so fully
absorbed in the personal side. of what you might call the individ-
ualistic side of their work that the whole team is merely an annoy-
ance and an interference. Apparently they have no more interest
in the team' as a whole than the average laborer has in the pro-
gress of the particular line of pwer he s1 laying down hilversity
Avenue. They apparently have no new thought of a constructive
nature or if eve; such a thought occurs it is never allowed to
see daylight. Such workers usua3]y do a reasoniabe amount of
individualistic work, but are not much heard of in the institu-
tion itself, and do not work in well 1* the field work.
The extreme individualist ;May be a considerable amount
of an egoist, but this is not a necessary quality. He is as a
rule very much afraid of having to surrender some of his rights,
or is constantly afraid of his problems being invaded by someone,
The work of the Experiment Station in F3orida, more than
almost anywhere else with as small an institution as we have:
has tended. to develop the team work idea. The tendency of our
individual problems (Projects we call them) has been toward in-
dividualism. Consequently we have two factors constantly working
against each other. To overcome the tendency toward individual-
Ism and promote as much team work as possible numerous expedients
have been adopted. I thinx for the most part these have sprung
up spontaneously and without this point specially in mind. The
Entomologpical Club is xa illustration. The difficulty of carry-
ing out any cooperative or coordinated work in i imst be in a
measure charged to individualiarm.
(3) Team work in the Florida Experiment Station had probably
reached its lowest ebb about the time of the passage
of the S~ckman Bill that is about "3905
(2) The development of Cooperative demonstration world in the State
is an index that the State as a whole is ready for team
work -- cnoent rated action.
(3) That the members of the Experiment Station staff who are so
constituted as to adjust themselves in accordance with
the present general sentiment, are the more likely to
(4) Team work, whether known by that name or ty some other is cer-
tain to be more insisted upon in the future than at present.
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