Sometimes the Bee-team is the A-team: the importance of an automatic team swarm response to threats and opportunities.
The best team is Me. It might sound like heresy but sometimes the most effective way to produce something is not through collaboration but by just doing it yourself.
One of the biggest problems in teams, communities and networks, whether co-located or virtual, is freeriding (aka freeloading or lurking or loafing) where certain team members do not pull their weight. Here are 5 things you can do about it.
Biological teams make extensive use of short messages as their main means of communication: Ants use chemical messages, Bees use visual messages conveyed through dance and Dolphins use sonar, however most human teams seem to have forgotten their Messaging Instincts.
One of the aspects of bioteams in nature is that they seem to have just the right amount of structure to handle their environments. Too much and they would be slow and cumbersome. Too little and they would lack the sophisticated responses to move them up the food chain. In either case the consequences are extinction!
Much has been written about why people collaborate and the pay-offs. Key concepts include Tit for Tat and The Prisoners Dilemma discussed in Dysfunctional teams: bioteam them.
There are many ways to analyse dysfunctional teams in organisations such as deficiencies in trust, absence of shared objectives, poor co-operative working practices or inappropriate leadership styles/models. However taking a purely biological perspective opens up exciting new possibilities for really transforming these teams performance.
Credit to Christopher Allen & Shannon Appelcline for identifying an interesting historical book, Robert’s Rules of Order, originally written in 1896 and proposing a set of rules for conducting Fair and Orderly Meetings & Conventions. Many of Robert’s Rules would seem to apply to today’s virtual meetings too.
One of the main dilemmas for team leaders and members is the thorny issue of responsibility. We often fixate on the problem of leaders and members not taking enough responsibility but according to Dr Scott Peck they can also do damage if they try to take too much!
Managing any team, network or group becomes a whole lot simpler if you understand the three rings of member commitment.