Often when i start working on a new project with my team, i avoid giving clarity on what we are supposed to do. There is obviously some understanding on what we as a team are going to deliver in the end to the client..(Thats how we have the project in the first place), but i avoid creating roles, functions, and charts that will make it clear to team who is supposed to do what and how and when….
This creates the fuzzy time of the project. For me fuzzy time is very good and this is the time the talent in the team shows up. I spend time with the team listening, talking discussing what we know and what we should do..but we avoid reaching conclusions. avoid reaching points where one would get up and say..ok..let me run and finish that..:) that does happen but a bit later. This is when the ideas float, they get killed by counter ideas and then new directions get crossed with old roles…team feels free to dream, think and doesnt fit the ideas to their own roles.. not yet.. This fuzzy time is very creative time. This is the time to share case studies, examples, stories, watching movies and discussing whats in newspaper in context to what we have to do. This is also the time when team feels equal. they hunt for cases, look for examples..share inspirations..
This is also when team bonding happens, usually members get insights into each others brains and get to respect the talent. Hierarchy sets in or get challenged. and usually before you know team is raring to go.
The art is to hold on to the confusion a bit longer..not charge at the first clarity that rings. Humans, conditioned by our education are very comfortable in clarity, we ar very scared of confusion. It is Natural to run towards clarity. You will find there are many who just can not deal with this confusion..
Confusion can break a team, fights can come up, and it can be ugly unless you follow some ground rules. Infact keep it simple..two rules.
1. Mutual Trust
2. Mutual Respect
these are basic human values. As long as every member in the team feels trusted and respected, he will wade in confusion with you.I should talk about those values separately too. in my next writing.
For now..i just say..enjoy confusion.