Does the term, "skunkworks" conjure up any relics of innovative teams and cool projects gone by? Teams that you were part of that were creative, collaborative, acted, and made things happen? No project too big, with no idea or concept impossible! Those were cool people to work with, where the idea of give-and-take is based on trust and the knowledge that everyone was contributing value from different perspectives and God-given gifts. It was a matter of mindset and attitude.
Such were the small groups of people that worked to save Apollo 13 and cool fighter jets. People that have enabled you to receive your tax refund electronically… and many other products and services that you use regularly today. These small teams, of between five to ten people all over the world, often start with a problem that their customers needed solving. They put their minds together, pulled out a napkin, piece of paper, whiteboard, or other collaborative media to brainstorm and begin the journey of bringing something new to reality.
Blessed to be part of these types of teams, many of you are today beneficiaries of efforts I also was directly involved with on such a team. But that is another story. The question that you should ask yourself, is, why am I not actively involved with that kind of team? Don't let the terms of today such as "agile", "scrum" or give you the illusion that you are innovative and creative.
You might ask yourself this question. What would it take for me to help bring some new concepts to reality?
The Cambridge Dictionary defines skunkworks as follows: "a small department that is allowed to operate outside the normal procedures and systems of a company so that it has the freedom to develop new ideas, products, etc.: "
Now is the time to create your virtual Skunk Works team.
Enable your people to connect and bring new ideas. Each of us have involuntarily moved toward an adaptable mindset with the COVID-19 impacts within our individual lives.
Keep the momentum going. Create a skunkworks mindset or get help to do so and bring new concepts to reality.