Group Coherence for Project Teams – Group Creativity


is also prevented since most of the team's interactions are funneled through and orchestrated by one individual. The GCCI found that Bonding and Trust (both ingredients of Group Coherence) were foundations of creativity that freed group members to offer their ideas and made the group receptive to everyone's contributions.

3. Chaos avoidance

Group creativity opens the door to change and makes it possible to challenge old ways of doing things. This creates resistance, frustration and disappointment based on fear of change, uncertainty and chaos.

4. Pre-determined truth

Some organizations manage uncertainty by conducting "big planning up-front". This creates the perception of predictability at the expense of adaptability. It also documents "due diligence" to justify a desired return-on-investment. Curiously, these organizations often "forget" to check whether the predicted ROI was ever realized. A heavy front-loaded planning process compromises creativity by denying feedback loops and imposing a rigid pre-determined path.

In all these cases, "tried and true" industrial age management methods demand that the project team adheres to artificial functional boundaries and a predetermined rigid plan, imposing obstacles to the creative process.

Group creativity allows solutions to emerge in the same unpredictable way that evolution provides complex creative solutions to ecological natural situations. This allows the team to select from a wide solution set. All of the above restrictive behaviors limit the solution set and prevent this from happening.

The Creative Team
Agile teams make use of the group creativity described by the GCCI. They have a common goal that is reinforced, adapted to change and discussed on a daily basis. Specific collaborative methods such as pair programming bring together the diverse experience and wisdom available in the group. Each individual can see the group's goal from his or her own perspective. Allowing experimentation by the group makes it possible to combine members' perspectives. By encouraging interdisciplinary thinking and a cross-functional (heterogeneous) team Agile makes a potentially wider solution set available.

There are strong indicators of group creativity in hyper-productive Agile teams. Shared goal and clear definition of done are common to all team members, removing specialization "blinders" (1). Self-organization and continuous improvement empower the team to make decisions by consensus. The short feedback loops on the activities of an Agile team are a fertile ground for feeding the group's natural creativity. The fundamentally high-trust approach in Agile fosters team bonding, trust and respect. This frees everyone in the group to offer their ideas and also allows everyone to be able to utilize all the ideas (2). Agile teams welcome change, even in the advanced stages of the project They also tolerate chaos and positive disruption in the pursuit of continuous improvement (3). They focus on adapting to change and uncertainty and deliver value in short incremental deliveries thus following a dynamic and flexible path (4). Group Coherence for Project teams - Common Purpose ). It promotes creativity in the group, both for the individual members and for the group itself, because it creates awareness of differences and changes in the repeated experience of the group members. If you want your teams to be creative, provide them the creative challenges and the opportunities to discover how to solve them as a team.

When the restrictions are released, leaps of faith and leaps of creativity are incorporated. Specializations are made available to the team, not used to define boundaries. The daily standup is not a mechanical status report but an informative dialogue amongst peers, triggering a flurry of collaborative and creative activity immediately afterwards. The retrospective is not just a time to reflect on the past but an opportunity to invent new ways

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