Lessons From a Team Exercise

I came across a set of notes from a training session in which I had the good fortune of participating, where a specific breakout session spurred nice observations. The list will not look remarkable – – it could have come from a standard Fast Company magazine article. Of note was the sheer degree of improvement witnessed from the team task: from 28 seconds the first time we tried, down to 2.4 seconds after about 12 minutes of iterating, brainstorming, etc.

Here are lessons we jotted down regarding what spurred such terrific progress.

  • Everyone is “heard”
  • Provide coaching / take the feedback
  • Ensure everyone contributed
  • Maintain constant communication
  • Incremental goals were perceived as realistic (as opposed to stretch goals that are viewed as unreachable)
  • Continuous innovation
  • Continual improvement
  • Okay to ask “what if”
  • Have permission to fail
  • Truly challenge the norms
  • Closely review of the rules
  • Continually challenge the assumptions
  • Make sure the trial and error is manifested in actual physical actions (and not “stuck in people’s heads”)
  • Have a healthy awareness of the competition – not so little that you are aloof but not so much as to distract you
  • Clear, measurable metrics that could be directly associated to each person
  • Always know and try to beat your personal best
  • Make it fun & interesting
  • Ensure all are equal peers in people’s minds (no politics and hierarchy to obstruct the collaboration)
  • Laptops down – be a single-minded “kundun” in our discussions
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