In his unique book “Dialogue and the art of thinking together” William Issacs introduces the Four-Player System originally developed by David Kantor. This is a very important technique for supporting real collaborative thinking in teams.
Most collaborative ventures don’t turn out quite the way we envisage. It would be great if we could determine in advance if a particular collaborative project or joint venture will be worth the required investment. Here is a simple way you can assess the merits of any collaborative endeavour BEFORE you invest time, effort and money in failing to make it work.
Very interesting article by Matthew Syed, a former Commonwealth table tennis champion. which suggests that experts (Unconsciously Competent) can suddenly flip under stress to “beginner mode” (Consciously Competent) with the accompanying degradation in their performance.
Brainz.org has a very good article which gives 15 excellent examples of designs inspired by nature (biomimicry or biomimetics).
One of the deadliest invisible killers in teams is the perception of unfairness: that some are rewarded beyond which their contribution merits. “Fairness perception” is a massively important but poorly understood team concept, which even extends beyond human teams into the animal kingdom. Here is how to successfully manage it.
I recently had the privilege of being invited to speak to a NASA audience at their Research Centre in Langley (Virginia) on the topics of Bioteams and The Networked Enterprise. My talk was very nicely reported for NASA News by Jim Hodges.
Are you smarter than a goose? Sure you are — one on one. But when it comes to working efficiently, you and your colleagues can’t touch the gaggle. According to author Ken Thompson, geese and other animals that naturally form groups have a lot to teach us about business. In a theory he calls organizational biomimetics, Thompson lays out the principles underlying nature’s management strategies. So what can you learn from a bird or an ant? Take a gander. Katharine Gammon at Wired Magazine reports.
What do Ants, Termites, Graffiti Artists, Cavemen, Teenagers and Town Planners all have in common? They understand the power of Stigmergy to leave marks in their environment as important sign-posts to friends (or foes). Even more importantly they all know the difference between sign-posting and dialogue.
I have been thinking a lot about what happens when a leader gets under severe pressure, usually because things are not going according to plan. It seems to me this is the very essence of real leadership and where leaders can really justify their salaries. BUT according to Professor Dietrich Dorner, in his excellent book The Logic Of Failure: Recognizing And Avoiding Error In Complex Situations, there are two very tempting but ultimately disastrous tangents a leader can pursue in a crisis instead of addressing the real issues.
In 1964 psychiatrist Dr. Eric Berne published a wonderful book Games people play in which he identified the different games people play, often unwittingly, in social situations based on his concept of transaction analysis. People in teams play games too including Freeloader, Pseudo-engager, Chase-me, Senior Partner, Inquisitor, Stop-Starter, Overcommunicator, Email Fixater and Attachmentitis.