Thoughts on ways to create together

 

A creation group is a collection of people tasked with doing creative work together which results in something.

 

The group will function best when it has a set of values and rules which define roles, expectations, responsibilities, and desired outcomes. This set can be called a Mode Of Working (MOW).

 

The group will function best when there is an explicit convening, drafting, and signing-off-on a MOW before the creation group's work begins.

 

The group will function best when each member of the group shares a very clear understanding of 1) what the overall MOW is and 2) how they will function as an individual within the MOW. 

 

The group will function best when each member agrees to the MOW and pledges to abide by it.

 

Complications arise when there is not a MOW in place because: members of the group will very likely assume there is a MOW in place and that everyone in the group is operating under a shared set of values and rules.

 

My experience is that - in the absence of a MOW - a member of a creation group very quickly invents their role within the group and eventually assumes that everyone knows (and agrees to) the nuances of what that role is. 

 

Here's an idea of how to go about establishing a set of values and rules which define roles, expectations, responsibilities, and desired outcomes within a creation group. This set can be called a Mode Of Working. Establishing a Mode Of Working can be framed by answering two questions:

 

   > How much do I value the RELATIONSHIP with the group members?

   > How much do I value the GOAL we set out to accomplish?

 

Possible answers and outcomes:

 

I value my relationship with group members very little. The goal that we are trying to achieve is of primary value.

relationship- -    goal+++++

This mode is called  DOMINATION  

 

I value my relationship with group members more than I value the goal we are trying to achieve. I’ll usually make the choice to nurture a good relationship with my collaborators, sometimes at the expense of our goal.

relationship++++      goal- -

This mode is called  ACCOMMODATION 

 

I do not value the relationship with group members, nor do I value the goal that we are trying to achieve very much at all; both of these things hold equal value for me. Essentially, I’ll just do what everyone else is doing.

relationship -     goal -

This mode is called  RESIGNATION

 

I’m totally neutral about my investment in the project. I value my relationships and the goal equally. I’m willing to sacrifice aspects of either if it benefits the other.

relationship+/-       goal+/-

This mode is called  COMPROMISE

  

I’m very passionate about my investment in the project. I value my relationships and the goal equally. I will fight for my point of view to be considered, and I will graciously leave space for others with as much vigor. Assuming these actions benefit the ultimate goal.

relationship ++++++++,  goal - - - - - -

This mode is called  COLLABORATION   



 Some possible Mode Of Working outcomes:

 

A. There is one Leader; that person makes all of the decisions. Each member of the group does what the Leader asks of them without question.

 

B. Everyone is the leader. Every decision can be instigated and finalized by any member of the group.

 

C. Everyone is the leader. Every decision can be instigated and finalized by any member of the group for a predetermined period of time. When that time elapses, a leader (either chosen at the time or pre-determined) takes over and Mode-A kicks in.

 

D. A portion of the group form the Leaders. A portion of the group form the Doers.


Some thoughts from classic conflict resolution practices:

 

Accommodation: I do what you want in order to satisfy your needs or wants. As a result, "I lose - you win," because I had to give up what I wanted or needed.

 

Competition: Either you or I will win, but not both of us. This is a form of fighting. As a result, "I win - you lose," because only one can win.

 

Compromise: You and I both give up part of what we wanted or needed to settle the problem. As a result, "I win some- you win some," because we were both willing to give a little.

 

Collaboration: You and I work together to find an agreeable solution to the problem. As a result, "I win - you win," because we were willing to work together.ere is one Leader; that person makes all of the decisions. Each member of the group does what the Leader asks of them without question.