Slain DiMaggio, Saved Hannah

Sometimes life and death situations can teach vital lessons that apply to the work world. The Los Angeles Times reported on August 11th, that teen Hannah Anderson was rescued from kidnapper James DiMaggio. DiMaggio was shot and killed by an FBI agent during the rescue. The story actually began on August 4th, when DiMaggio murdered Hannah’s mother and little brother, before taking off with Hannah into the Idaho wilderness. This story is anything but encouraging in that two innocent lives were lost, the perpetrator was killed rather than facing the court system and Hannah’s emotional wounds will take time to heal. Still, in taking a moment to focus on celebrating that Hannah was rescued in time, rather than found dead, we find ourselves marveling at the life-changing positive results of well-executed collaboration.

If the power of motivated and organized collaboration enabled locating and saving a teen life in a remote wilderness location that could only be accessed on horseback, imagine what impact collaboration can have in your business life.


Collaboration Tips learned from a rescue mission:

  1. Establish direction
    Every collaboration involves leadership. Leaders are able to visualize the completed puzzle and can instruct the group in arranging the pieces together. For example, in the case of Hannah’s abduction, FBI Special Agent in Charge, Mary Rook seems to have been point in determining moves and certainly communicating with the public. The FBI in Salt Lake City issued a statement written by Mary Rook, summarizing recent events and explaining further actions. A face to represent direction and establish organization, such as Mary Rook, is what every effective collaboration effort needs.
  2. Utilize connections
    Collaborations between the FBI, The Division of Justice and local San Diego Law Enforcement were the first steps in finding Hannah. But as a team, these organizations reached out to every day citizens for assistance through the local news and Amber Alerts. In fact, it was a camper who spotted DiMaggio and Hannah, saw the Amber Alert and directed authorities to the location. Part of the beauty of collaboration, is the expanded net of help each individual involved brings to the table. In the business world, every member of a joined effort can offer unique ideas and resources to the mission.
  3. Relationship Management
    Inherently when talking about a collaboration, teamwork is part of the conversation. In order for Hannah’s rescue to have gone so well, it is reasonable to guess that everyone involved was focused, there was open communication, and good teamwork in general. This is not always the case. Nobody wants to think back to hurricane Katrina, but unfortunately that situation offers a good example of unsuccessful teamwork. From poor organization on the New Orleans Mayor’s part to the Mayor’s supposed lack of communication with the White House to questions about George Bush’s four day delay in sending relief for hurricane victims to failed coalitions formed by other organizations such as the Red Cross, poor teamwork ran wild in response to that disaster. Though lives aren’t typically hanging in the balance when it comes to teamwork in the business world, company success is in the balance. When collaborating, it is always crucial to learn tricks for successful teamwork such as trust, honesty, value, and effective communication.

In dealing with this hardship, Hannah has a long road to true recovery and her father as well. The efforts for collaboration are far from finished in this tale, as investigators continue to piece the story together and love one’s collaborate, offering comfort during mourning. It is only fit to pause, and congratulate all those that worked together to rescue Hannah from a terrible fate. Not only is Hannah home with her father, but the teamwork displayed in saving her is an example for all.