Working in Collaborative Teams for Kids and Adults (This Is How Teams Should Be Composed)
This Is How Teams Should Be Composed:
There is a person wanting to achieve some goal or accomplish an objective.
We will call this person the INNOVATOR.
Now, the INNOVATOR must compose a team. We assume unlimited resources. The current task here is to select any team members you like. We hence also assume that team members will willingly join your team: in practice and in reality, this is an ethical/moral decision, dependent on the situation and the underlying socio-group dynamic i.e. clique, mob mentality, or put most aptly: “never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups” (ala George Carlin, the supreme comedian and pontificator of our Modern Era)— corporate vs. family vs. street (strangers, ad-hoc)).
The criteria used to select a team really doesn’t matter. However, we reckon that teams will be chosen, or rather that, valuable individuals will be chosen, (a̶s̶ ̶m̶o̶s̶t̶ ̶t̶e̶a̶m̶s̶ ̶h̶a̶v̶e̶ ̶b̶e̶e̶n̶ ̶i̶n̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶p̶a̶s̶t̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶w̶i̶l̶l̶ ̶b̶e̶ ̶i̶n̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶f̶u̶t̶u̶r̶e̶) those that are amongst the best and brightest (of the lot/pool of available team members), or those that are competently experienced and have dedicated time in the field of objective, but also the lesser experienced, or inexperienced, for their inquisitive nature, creativity and scrutiny.
So… I struck-out the above… most teams are probably chosen this way → the way one of my Little League coaches chose pitchers… because it was his son.
So… alas, it doesn’t matter, because, in life, in real life, we have to make 2 types of decisions: real ones and other ones
Real (Decisions) Ones: Apocalyptic, Life-and-Death, (Mental, Physical, Social, Financial, Family, Community, Tribe) Ruin Problems, Meltdowns
Other Ones: Not Real Ones
Depending on the type of goal/objective, the decisions made by the team will fall into one of the same two types of Decision Types that the goal/objective belongs to. The criteria for Decision Type classification is straightforward: if the Goal or Objective FAILS, does anyone die? If this matters, then the Goal or Objective (and every single decision made by the Team for achieving/accomplishing it) is a Real Decision. (congratulations if I may say).
However, for those needing a certain seed of data to perform the thought experiment above, the criteria for Decision Type classification is equivalently a mesh of qualitative/quantitative risk, utility threshold, cost-benefit analysis.
We reckon that teams should be and will be a well-rounded and targeted composition, and have highly effective operators and thinkers who can achieve the goal within a desired timeframe (all other resources being free).
Now, an important point: The actual goal or objective should not be disclosed to the team members prior to the team’s launch.
Also, there is no specified interview requirement as there is no criteria for team selection. In practice, interviews should focus on vetting an overall skillset (possibly in related fields to the goal or objective), establishing motivational feedback loops or things that REALLY ENERGIZE a person to WANT to WORK for UNLIMITED HOURS, in tackling new problems and driving towards accomplishing general goals and objectives, personally, academically, professionally… in past situations, in mental trial-and-error simulations, and in hypothetical contexts. How to deal with the unknown future (uncertainty) is paramount. Troubleshooting. Heuristics. Decomposition. Rebuilding Skills.
Imagine a team of 11 people — the INNOVATOR plus 10 other team members.
Who is the Team Leader?
The MOST MOTIVATED person who MOST WANTS to achieve the goal.
Said again, whoever wants to accomplish the objective the most, after the goal/objective has been disclosed to them and the team — that person is the (should be designated) Team Leader.
How to find them?
First, re-ask the question appropriately:
Who is the Person that Most Wants to do the Necessary Hard Work (NHW) necessary to achieve the Team’s Objective/Goal?
Who is the Most Passionate About this Project?
Who Wants to Lead?
Who Likes This Idea the Most?
Tell me Please?
The Team will meet. The Team will shake and talk. The INNOVATOR will disclose the Team’s Objective/Goal. Asking the questions above… Team Leaders will naturally arise, or at least THEY SHOULD in any and every single team that has ever been and will ever be composed to the end of time… unless those team members ARE NOT HUMAN.
Otherwise, there will ALWAYS be a person who deep down inside, intrinsically, LOVES or is highly PASSIONATE about the field, project, and respectively, the articulated and targeted team’s objective/goal.
Accept the above. Now we have:
INNOVATOR, TEAM LEADER
But what if there is a deadlock and just nobody gives a f̵u̵c̵k̵ crap about the goal?
Who is the person that MOST HATES and MOST DISLIKES this goal or work?
This person will work the least, in rank order, and be assigned the tasks (mini-goals and semi-objectives) that are believed to be of lesser importance or lesser value, and optionally, easier for the HATER to accomplish.
Providing valuable work to a person who clearly articulates his lack of motivation, unwillingness to work, or disapproval of the objective/goal, is one of the most important things that the INNOVATOR must establish as a requirement for the Team to flourish, to maximize and leverage all cycles, all team-member-work-time-hours and cycles dedicated to the pursuit of the goal/objective.
So now we have:
INNOVATOR, TEAM LEADER, HATER
The HATER should be vocal. Vocal with his disapproval, either on technical grounds or emotional ones — it really doesn’t matter. As a trusted team member, the overall skillset is the reason for the inclusion.
The HATER’s role is equivalent to a Spy’s in the board game of Stratego! Shout out to Stratego. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stratego
The most dispassionate person may very well be a more important figure, a more important dynamic than the Team Leader or the Innovator. In fact, the Hater is often the naysayer, the devil’s advocate, the scrutinizer, the one who doesn’t trust anything or anyone for any reason told, known, or speculated. Ever.
This kind of person is hard to come by.
But it exists. They exist. In every single team composition from 1 person to 1 trillion. Every atom has a peer atom… some atoms pop, they combust spontaneously for reasons unknown… the atom hoping for its neighbor to pop is the HATER.
And I love them. We should love them. The debugger, the security code or crypto cracker should be, in my opinion, and possibly via verifiable fact of team performance analysis based on the foundation laid above and below herein, the most coveted person on a team. Team of 1. or Team of 1 Trillion.
The two most important questions the Innovator must ask his Team to identify a Team Leader and the Hater are:
Who loves this the most?
Who hates this the most?
MORE to COME…