Buffalo Roundup “Collaboration”

October 7, 2008 at 11:24 pm 2 comments

We just happenned to have planned a trip to South Dakota that coincided with Buffalo Roundup in Custer State Park.  What an amazing thing this is to attend; as a matter of fact we already have our plans made for next year.  I had never heard of this prior to our doing some “research” for our trip.  I can assure you that nothing like this happens in Atlanta, GA!  Cowboys (yeah the real deal) round up the bison into the buffalo corrals where they are tagged, etc.  Round up is the management tool that is used to adjust the herd size annually so that the herd does not out number the resources for them (ie land, etc.) In November 500 or so are auctioned off.  Attending this event reminded me and reaffirmed what collaboration is.  I saw it over and over again!

We sat in traffic before sunrise to attend as did many others.  This event draws 11000 – 15000 people.  BUT no horn honking and impatience here.  Folks just understand that this is part of it.  They stop their cars and engines in long waits and even get out of the car to talk to their fellow traffic jam neighbors.  Patience is key in any collaborative effort!

At the “porta potties” there was no fighting or anxiety either.  Each “potty” had its own line.  If you got in a slow one, well so be it.  That was just your “burden” to bear but no one else had to hear your complaining about that, or receive a push out of line because of it.  We all got to know each other, where we were from, and it was honestly a pleasant wait.  “Getting to know you” is also key in any collaborative effort!

The cowboys and crew cooked breakfast and lunch.  YUMMY!  Pancakes, Sausage, BBQ Bison, Baked Beans and Cookies–WOW was this great.  Lines formed and we got our food. AND we got a smile also.  The folks that work this thing are amazing.  They each do their job in the food line, depend on their team mates to do their part and you recieve great product (food) and great service (smile!).  Team work and trusting each other all a key part of collaboration!

Teamwork and collaboration really came into play watching the cowboys round up 1500 bison.  That was an amazing thing to watch and hear and experience.  Truly team work has never been shown to me in a better way.  Each person, on a horse or pick up orchestrated beautifully their position and their role in rounding up these huge beasts!  AND when some of the bison got fiesty and turned on the cowboys, the cowboys just backed off and did it again. No finger pointing about who let ’em get away, no discussion on who was going to do the extra tasks, none of that.  They just all kicked in, cooperated, collaborated and when all the bison were corralled and we applauded and yelled they all took the credit equally for a job well done!  Loved that lesson– collaborative efforts and successes are about the entire team!

The participants were collaborative as well.  I was shocked (and still am) to tell you that after all this celebrating, eating and drinking that NO trash was found left behind.  No one had to tell anyone to throw their stuff away and by the way, please hit the trash can.  These folks knew to do that– it is common sense, it is good stewardship and they were totally accountable for the trash they had created so they took care of it.  I was in such disbelief that I actually took pictures of the clean grass to prove it!  In any collaborative effort there has to be a sense of ownership and accountability–you should not have to be told every thing!

The entire event was amazing and I would encourage you to google it and click on the website for more info.  I will be putting my videos up on Youtube as well.  Happy collaborating Cowboys!  YEEHAW!


Entry filed under: Buffalo Roundup, collaboration, Teams. Tags: , , , .

Cisco and Jabber Collaboration NOW by CNBC

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Brian Madetzke  |  October 8, 2008 at 1:40 pm

    Glad to hear you all had a great time and see you next year!

    Bran Madetzke
    Custer State Park
    Assistant Park Manager

  • 2. FatFighter  |  October 9, 2008 at 2:20 am

    Wow, that’s fascinating! I would love to experience something like that!


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