Thank you for inspiring me to document musings and learnings from the field of leadership, team performance and conscious change. I trust you'll find the exercises, resources and insights useful whether you are a leader, team player, coach/consultant or change agent.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Unspoken Rules?

Teams tend to implicitly follow the rules of a dominant operating system but rarely discuss what that structure is and if it is serves their goal achievement. David Kantor's research illuminates the structural dynamics in human systems. One element he asks us to consider is the unspoken rules (or ways of operating) that influence team performance. They are:

Closed: Prescriptive. Stability through control. Clearly defined roles. Strong, formal leadership. Emphasis on planning & execution. Top-driven decision making. Policy-oriented. Leader centric. Think Military.
Open: Freedom within Structure. Egalitarian participation. Everyone making a contribution. Shared leadership. Emphasis on collaboration. Process-oriented. Self-Directed. Think Montessori. 
Random: Generative. Exploration through improvisation. Lack of formal structure/process. Autonomy & individuality. Spontaneous bursts of energy. Emphasis on innovation. Transformation-oriented. Think Chaos Theory.

Which operating system do you prefer? What is the dominate system on your team? In your organization? Does each align or clash? How do these archetypes help or hinder results delivery?

Try not to judge or make one structure better than the other, as each has a time and place. Seek first to understand then consciously choose what system is optimal!

Source: Kantor Institute, Natarsha Hearn

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