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Posts Tagged week5

“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success” Henry Ford

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As I noted in my first week’s blog post, by the time I’ve started Project communities course I already had 2 years experience of working with around 10 people for a start up company. Right before I got here I’ve analyzed my experience and thought I’d love to start all over again. And one of my main insights was: how come we didn’t become a team so far.

To my surprise the whole introduction week was about team work and I thought THIS TIME it’s gonna be nice and smooth. And it didn’t work again ;).

Last week was rather chaotic and made me feel upset. The question was: why again? I didn’t really know what to do, was not sure if I should talk to other team members, will they understand what I mean, do I feel right myself. But finally decided to give it a try. At first, I talked to people from other teams and found out that our problems were not unique. So I asked my team what their thoughts were and realized they were similar to mine: we all felt kind of stuck. That encouraged me to look deeper into the problem. My final assumption was: we lost motivation because we couldn’t see the connection between our weekly assignments and our final project. In our spidergram some weeks before we evaluated “Project” as the most important part of our teamwork and it seemed that we didn’t move a step towards it. But after we dived deeper into it we found the connections we were missing and the dynamics of our group work started to change.

This Monday was a very productive one and we came up with a nice plan as well as got some significant insights. Here are my personal favorites:

1. it’s a good idea to divide a team into smaller ‘project groups’ of 2-3-4 so that everyone can stay focuced on the task 
2. Uneven number adds creativity while even helps to come up with final descisions
3. Aligning information keeps everyone in the same context
4. Visualizing it helps aligning a lot
5. Taking responsibility and understanding of interdependences makes all the things look different

And the most important one:           

"It takes some work to make it work" (Jason Mraz “Life is wonderful” my favorite song for this autumn) or never underestimate organizational part of the process :).

Have a nice eve!

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Posted in Community, Group 4
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Mairya's intercultural puzzle

GROUPS, THEIR EDGES AND THE BENEFIT OF DIVERSITY

”We often think of communities as organic creatures, which come into existence and grow on their own. However, the truth is they are fragile blossoms. Although many communities surely germinate and bloom on their own, purposefully creating communities can take a tremendous amount of hard work, and one factor their success ultimately depends upon is their number.”

- Christopher Allen

Life with Alacrity

As it is true for all kinds of relationships and interactions between people, it is a fact that there are no relationships which are perfectly balanced and smoothly working without putting effort in them. In fact, relationships are hard work. I suggest everybody can agree with this, regarding personal experiences, for example in partnerships. However, this is valid for all kinds of relations in which interdependences and coexistence are found. There are a lot of factors involved, one of them is the huge importance of mutual communication and understanding. Without communication, every bond between people will sooner or later break apart, or even be teared dramatically. Consequently, the right communication is the most important component of a working relationship, no matter of which kind and consistency. Regarding relationships within groups, there are several components which affect the efficiency and and creativity. Supporting Chris Corrigan, I have also the opinion, that the group size plays a crucial role. As he pointed out, groups of one, or respectively the individual work and reflection, are the best basis for generating ideas and being creative and innovative. The group benefits insofar, that these thoughts and ideas are brought back to the bigger circle afterwards, which brings the possibility to combine and connect them and through this, a broader field of creativity. Moreover, small groups which consist of odd numbered members, like 3 or 5, tend to be very creative and energetic. Whereas group constellations with more than 5 members will probably have difficulties with being creative, as well as with working together, because the members may start pulling away instead of cooperating, which has the result of loosing the benefits of diversity within the group. Nevertheless, the more diversity and ‘edges’ a group has, the more source you have to work collaborative on one topic.

For me personally, this is a very useful and supportive insight and I think, our group work for the NGO’s can be a perfect model to implement this idea.

WORKING TEAM 4 EVA


Our group consists of 7 members, with 6 different nationalities and cultural backgrounds. And of course, 7 diverse individuals, each with his own personality, values, beliefs and understanding of the things around. Taking this into consideration, I believe that our group corresponds pretty well an that we get more and more to the point, where everybody realizes and recognizes his or her role in this cooperation. Of course, if you can’t see your own abilities and qualities, you consequently can not contribute them to the group. For that reason, it is very important to organize the group, distributing roles and responsibilities. That is the base for finding and developing our personal position within the group. Furthermore, it is very significant to be in constant exchange with all members, so we have the possibility to align our thoughts and ideas, share our insights and conclusions and as a result, being on the same level. However, this is an ideal model of cooperation, which we have not reached yet, but i think we are on the ‘right’ way to understand the issue and finally get there. Yesterday, I experienced that we worked more focused and effective, if we divide the group in smaller parts. We want to implement this from now on, which means that we will work in smaller components and afterwards combine and connect the results as a whole group. Regarding the hangout on monday, i think everybody agrees that it worked a lot better with splited groups. Furthermore, it gave us the possibility to keep on working, while the two members could be focused on the hangout. I hope, that we now can better organize and structure our group interactions.

For me, the biggest challenge and difficulty does not lie in our group internal communication, but in having trouble with being ‘up to date’ in all the different fields and courses. Which, of course, has the result that we are not at the same level and insofar can not always really exchange our thoughts and insights. A possible help or solution could be, that we try to communicate this more precise in the group, so we can finally help each other by sharing all kinds of extracts we make. However, I hope and think that the confusion will lessen with the time and we can finally make use of our experiences and knowledge, both online and offline.

” A chain is as strong as its weakest link ”´

- German saying -

Thanks for reading.

Katinka

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Posted in Community, Group 4
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: +

WORKING GROUPS

WEEK 5


Today we coped with the topic GROUPWORK.

It is important that groups organize themselves, which includes the arrangement and distribution of roles and responsibilities. We went through some chaotic period which (as Nancy mentioned) did it’s good job, as we understood the importance of being organized. One of the most important ideas we got is that we should visualize and align all the information we have.

We were really inspired by the video of Chris Corrigan, who explained us that the number of members a group consists of has a huge impact on how creative and efficient a group can work.We want to apply this information to our group now, try out different kinds of components and arrangements.
Moreover, we want our group to serve as a “model “, so we can use this information and our personal impressions and insights to pass them to our NGO.

INDIVIDUAL WORK / GENERATING IDEAS

We have the opinion, that for now, it is of big importance to try and gather all our group internal insights, conclusions and ideas into something readable (something the whole gruop benefits of), so we decided to work with different folders on trello.
So, for our idea generation, everybody can individualy post hers/his ideas and afterwards we have the possibility to assemble and connect our thoughts.

TEAM WORK ( 3 people )


In our smaller groups, we arranged that, generally, two of us should be discussing and one of us should take notes, so we dont loose or overlook any thoughts or insights. Afterwards, we want to discuss this in the whole group. We plan to show interdependances so that every one realizes the importance of his/her role.

OUR WORKING PLAN :

That’s it for now.

Thanks and have a nice evening.

GROUP 4

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Posted in Community, Group 4
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: +