Is experience enough?
Working with a team of people, you are together for prolonged periods of time minimally 8 hours a day, 5 days a week (many of us work more than that) we come to expect the same patterns.
When patterns are expected Doom Loops become embedded, and they asphyxiate progress.
We expect that Patty from finance will role her eyes when Antoine from marketing suggests an idea, we expect that Don from engineering will begin to scream when Sasha from sales wants faster turn-around on special customer orders.
These expectations create a Folkloric Construct of belief, because our brains are essentially lazy. They have so much information processing going on that we have to make sense of patterns rapidly. And this is when experience comes into play.
In order to break the repetition cycles of expectations we must experience these relationships in new and unique patterns.
The line above is a foundational premise of using team-building activities (experiential design) in learning and training environments.
To your brain working together is working together, whether you are balancing nails on the head of a single nail, or working to balance next years budget.
When you are involved in hands-on activities that are facilitated to allow for discussion and feedback of how what just happened applies back in the office, you are creating new experiences. The team and collective brains are creating new folkloric constructs of reality.
Therefore experience is not enough; How many people and teams do you know who get along great when at the bar, or in social situations. Then when in the meeting room are stagnant, uncompromising pig-heads?
Experience of being-together is NOT ENOUGH.
What will make the experience work?
- Clear and distinct purpose of the time together
- Minimum agreement to work with other people and departments
- This is a priority of Executive leadership and the CEO level Executive
- Full participation of everyone
- People in the room are from the proper roles within the team, and are capable of thinking; talking; acting in a manner that is appropriate to the level of discussion and action.
- A facilitator who is competent and capable to work with adults and corporate level groups
- A facilitator who is able to transfer and guide the people to an understanding of the experience
- The group willingness to take on action items
- A conclusion of the time with some understanding of a Goal a what by when; plus accountabilities of who and when the tasks will be achieved.
Experience can be a valuable teacher, that teaches people to work together AND can teach people to strengthen false beliefs about each other.
Which do you choose?
michael cardus is create-learning