Scouts operate as a team. When scouts work towards a goal, they have to coordinate. They have to come up with a common plan. Everybody has to buy into these common goals. All team members are reminded of their grand objectives. Once they are able to establish all of these, then the team members are able to help each other as well as help themselves.
By taking care of the group’s objectives, the individual members of that group end up helping themselves. One thing that naturally flows from all of this is the concept of standards.
If you’re going to be operating within a team and working with your team, you can’t allow everybody to just do their own thing. Everybody has to be clear as to what standards the team is going to apply to each other.
These common standards enable each team member to do their part more effectively. They understand that a certain level of quality performance is expected from them. They get a clear idea of the dividing line between disappointing team members and giving them what they are expecting. This leads to a much more coordinated focus for all team members involved.
Standards help any organization by enabling it to simultaneously look forward and backward. Looking to a set standard, organizations would know what to do and why. They would be able to trace past experiences to certain metrics or objectives they have set for themselves. Past experience highlights the need for these guideposts. They are not just made up on a whim. Organizations went through certain experiences which revealed the need for these standards and objectives.
Looking forward, standards also enable groups of people, numbering from a handful to extremely large organizations, to plan ahead and aim high. Standards helps groups of people coordinate their actions towards a collective goal that is more refined and more definite. Instead of everyone doing their own thing taking stabs at some ill-defined or loosely translated overarching goals, clear standards ensure that everyone does their part in helping the group as a whole get to its destination sooner rather than later.
Scouts learn early on that the more they perform their roles according to standards set by the team, the team ends up prospering as a whole. Individual team members are clued in as to the importance of setting proper goals, as well as the standards that they can use to measure those goals.
It’s one thing to come up with all sorts of plans, it’s another to actually have a frame of reference to see whether you’re succeeding with your plans. Scouts learn this early on as they work with the team. They don’t just figure out how to set up goals, they also become aware of clear benchmarks that let them know whether they are meeting their goals or not.
This whole process ends up building up the discipline of all team members involved. They all learn how to focus better and they also learn important lessons in accountability.