Monday, April 20, 2009

3D Juggling 426: Beach Balls

There are still a couple of spaces on next Monday's Action Learning Set Facilitator Training in London. Call Sue on 0845 458 0154 if you'd like to come. We're willing to negotiate on price...

Lynn writes: “I have recently purchased this large multi coloured beach ball to use with the many teams I am working with. Not as a warm-up tool or ice breaker but to help us explore the complexity of team working.
I increasingly understand that to work with a team is to understand the whole ball and not focus on the individual colours or where they sit on the sphere. Each individual sits on one of those colours. If I sit on yellow I have a great view of everything yellow and maybe some idea of the colours next to me, but I have no idea what is happening on the other side of the ball. For a team to work really effectively we need to lay the information from each of the colours onto the table and understand the whole ball. We need to be prepared to trust the team enough to have the mistrust and difference out in the open.The ball also demonstrates the importance of the joints between the colours without which the ball leaks and goes flat. What are these relationships between individuals that fuse us together as a whole entity?
The circle at the bottom of the ball represents the manager. Without that circle there is no joining of all the colours and the ball cannot hold its form. From this vantage point the manager has the best view of all the colours but can still not see fully along each strip. The circle at the top with the inlet valve is the outside influences - without input from stakeholders there is no ball, only a flat coloured shell. Sometimes there is not enough air and at other times external pressures over-inflate the ball.
What's happening with teams you are in?”
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1 comment:

Sue said...

That is really relevant to me this week. The school where I work has been awarded a grant to take a small team of staff to visit a school in Africa. It is fascinating to see forming in front of my eyes what the beach ball looks like to different people who are interested in going. If there are too many applicants and we have to justify why as individuals we think we should be be among the travellers, those answers will be really interesting reading.