In Project Retrospectives, Kerth introduced the Prime Directive, a statement intended to help set the stage for the retrospective. The Prime Directive states:
‘Regardless of what we discover, we understand and truly believe that everyone did the best job he or she could, given what was known at the time, his or her skills and abilities, the resources available, and the situation at hand.’
The Prime Directive is a statement that helps to drive people into a collaborative mindset. It’s a belief that the team must hold during the activities to follow. Kerth’s prime directive is appropriate for retrospectives, but it can be changed as needed to fit other kinds of activities. We suggest the following directives for meetings where you will run building team activities or futurespectives:
‘Cooperation is the act of working with others and acting together to accomplish a job. Team is a partnership of unique people who bring out the very best in each other, and who know that even though they are wonderful as individuals, they are even better together. Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.’ ~ Prime Directive for Building Team
‘Hope and confidence come from proper involvement and a willingness to predict the unpredictable. We will fully engage on this opportunity to unite around an inclusive vision, and join hands in constructing a shared future.’ ~ Prime Directive for Futurospective
Besides reading the directive out loud for the team before the activities start, it is recommended to leave it visible while the meeting happens. You can always reference it to remember the participants that, for this meeting, the team should put their judgments aside.