Lessons for Interagency Organizations

  • Physical proximity increases an interagency organization's collaboration, but may not be practical in all circumstances.
  • Informal and temporary interagency organizations have proven useful (e.g., tiger teams, special working groups, and fusion cells.)
  • Choosing a leader with the right experience and "interagency" perspective is crucial to successful interagency organizations. The leader must value the perspective and contributions of all team members.
  • Team members should be empowered to reach back to their home agency for assistance.
  • Team members should possess comprehensive knowledgeable of their home agencies mission, resources, organizations and processes.
  • The organization should be provided resources that match its mandate or vice versa.
  • The organization should have a specific mission to achieve. Team members should focus on that mission and should understand their contribution to the mission.
  • Strive for continuity of participation.
  • Participants should have a national vs. an agency-centric mindset.
  • Adaptable and flexible organizations are better able to adjust to changes in the international environment.
  • The organization should have access to national security leaders who can resolve disputes between agencies.
  • Leaders of interagency organizations should be provided with a clear mandate to perform the assigned mission by participating departments and agencies.