The strongest form of a team is a tribe and tribes by definition share both a culture and a language. Because our tours of duty are so short, if a leader believes culture shaping to be a priority, it is important that he create ways to accelerate the team’s evolution.  A tribe will grow together on its own through shared experiences over time, but a tribe need not personally experience things to learn together.  That is where books come in.  Because there are so many things competing for our time, it is unfair to expect individuals to dive deep into assigned books, but it is more than fair to provide interested teammates with the opportunity to consume a five page book abstract.  That is precisely why NCDOC has instituted the “Book Abstract Project.”  Each week, the Commanding Officer personally selects a book abstract based on challenges the Command is experiencing and opportunities they are creating.  To accompany the chosen abstract, he provides a tailored voice over to help the rest of the team better understand how the book applies to their shared experiences.

All DoD teammates can participate in the book abstract project by accessing the following site provided they have a CAC:
This is not the first time a command took on the book abstract project.  Captain Sean Heritage did the same when he was Commanding Officer of NIOC Pensacola from 2010-2012.  The highlight of that experiment was when after he had left the Command, a CO from another Command chose to write a guest abstract for the Sailors and Civilians of NIOC Pensacola, proving that reading, sharing, and collaborating across Command lifelines is a great way to both strengthen and grow a tribe.
Will your command implement a Book Excerpt of the Week program?