Topic 4 – Groups

MOOC Summaries - Reinvent Yourself Unleash Creativity - innovative groups

Topic 4 – Groups 

“Why join a group … Getting the most out of a group … Group operations & culture … Special characteristics of innovative groups … Discussion of stop & thinks … Wrap-Up”
(Source)

Summaries

  • Topic 4 - Groups > Why join a group? > Why join a group?
  • Topic 4 - Groups > Getting the most out of a group > Getting the most out of a group
  • Topic 4 - Groups > Group operations & culture > Group Operations & Culture
  • Topic 4 - Groups > Special characteristics of innovative groups > Special characteristics of innovative groups
  • Topic 4 - Groups > Discussion of stop & thinks > Discussion of stop & thinks
  • Topic 4 - Groups > Topic 4 Wrap-Up > Concept Review

Topic 4 – Groups > Why join a group? > Why join a group?

  • Today we’ll move from tools to people, because today’s discussion is about the creativity benefits of working in groups.
  • Modern groups are unlike hierarchical, insular organizational teams of the past.
  • Crowdsourcing is the new term for self-organizing, volunteer, democratic groups that form over the web.
  • Smarts and creativity within a team often arises from synergies amongst people with diverse frames and with diverse personalities.
  • “Incrementalists” add value to any team, but often need others to get the job finished.
  • The best-performing groups are ones that permit varied members to contribute their full wealth of perspectives and intelligence.
  • Experiments over the past 20 years have shown that heterogeneous teams are more productive and more creative than homogeneous ones.

Topic 4 – Groups > Getting the most out of a group > Getting the most out of a group

  • Attention to both task and interpersonal relationships is critical to group development.
  • In their development, groups go through maturation stages just as children do.
  • These stages of development have been famously described by Bruce Tuckman as forming, norming, storming, performing.
  • They avoid conflict, but also don’t delve deeply into complexities and the needed group processes and task approach.
  • Mission-oriented logistics take up most of the groups time while members begin to figure out what the work entails, but also how they’ll fit in.
  • Storming begins once some trust has been developed and the members feel freer to challenge each other’s opinions.
  • If this grows to consume meeting time or is taken too personally, storming can undermine individual motivation and group success.
  • Only then will the group gain autonomy and all of its members feel free to contribute.
  • Norming describes the successful maturation of groups that emerge stronger after the storming phase.
  • The group has evolved to allow the expression of frame-breaking ideas.
  • The hoped for outcome remains the same – the formation of a group that, by allowing all members to express their creativity, produces imaginative results.

Topic 4 – Groups > Group operations & culture > Group Operations & Culture

  • Groups larger than seven have been shown to be unwieldy and less productive.
  • High performing teams never lose sight of the goal that the group’s reason for being is to get a job done.
  • The most talkative group members naturally dominate discussions.
  • Leadership of well performing groups is facilitative rather than directive.
  • Facilitation gives space to everyone to voice crazy ideas, separates fact from opinion and limits judgment, reinforces synergies while acknowledging differences, helps shape procedures to fit group needs and keeps the group on task and at high energy.

Topic 4 – Groups > Special characteristics of innovative groups > Special characteristics of innovative groups

  • An example of special characteristics in an innovative group at Bell Laboratories.

Topic 4 – Groups > Discussion of stop & thinks > Discussion of stop & thinks

  • Groups inspire individuals to do their best and meet deadlines.
  • Training both for leaders and for group members in ground rules, frame shifting, communication skills and signs and prevention of disrespect would be useful.
  • Groups can be smart and creative, benefiting from intellectual and emotional synergies.
  • Groups mature – through stages of forming, storming, norming, and performing.
  • Understanding these natural states helps us to ensure group success.
  • Finally, groups tasked to be particularly innovative need special handling.

Topic 4 – Groups > Topic 4 Wrap-Up > Concept Review

  • Groups mature through stages of forming, storming, norming, and performing.
  • Understanding these natural states helps us to ensure group success.
  • Finally, groups tasked to be particularly innovative need special handling.

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 photo: depositphotos/shmeljov

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