Plenty, if you happen to be Michael Santarcangelo.
During a morning walk Santarcangelo was approached and yelled at by a man who just exited his truck. At first not understanding what he had done wrong, Santarcangelo asked the man to repeat himself ““ and that’s when he realized that the truck driver was pointing to his hat and asking if he’d seen the Yankees game the night before.
Aside from taking away his anxiousness, the interaction made him realize a key point about how people can get along despite not being very similar in other ways, and the power of affinity. Affinity in this case was the love of the Yankees, but there are situations where two people (or more) share a common drive and passion. This shared passion helps them become close with each other, work well together, and succeed in otherwise tricky situations. It’s with this in mind that Santarcangelo brings us to the point of his article: create an IT security team that focuses on and fosters natural affinity. The affinity should be the desire to help people, help team members, and help explain their knowledge openly. Santarcangelo explains why this approach to team building works, and why it sustains itself:
To be fair, while many love the Yankees, not everyone is a fan. Sports can be polarizing, but other affinities can serve as good models to consider. Cars or photography, for example, are other affinities that draw people together. Regardless of what bonds your team, the most important thing is that each member engages, contributes and supports the group’s overall efforts.
We need to not only create the team, but also create a reason for people to join the team. Instead of focusing energy on those who don’t need (or don’t think they need) the counsel of a security professional, focus instead on those who do or those who seek more information.
The effort includes an attempt to have broad inclusion: not just IT security professionals, but people within the business who are likewise interested in IT security. The affinity between them will help the entire organization make better decisions and develop trust between IT and the rest of the organization.