23.1.2023 — The consequential goal is an absolutely necessary condition for teamwork: We did something, does it work, is it useful. This creates special expectations towards the leadership in creative work like theatrical performance or visual design.
I was honored to train teamwork for stage director students at the Helsinki University of Arts. Stage directors are explicitly expected to have a significant personal contribution to the artistic result. How do you combine this with creating teamwork in the group of artists? How do you balance the expected directiveness with harvesting the team's creativity?
Leadership is a function of the team, which is always present when the team works as one team. When doing individual work, it is in the background. By agreement, the nominated leader has a special responsibility and expectation of taking leadership.
Richard Hackman distilled his 40 years of research into a dozen or so essential conditions for teamwork. One of my favourites is that the compelling goal needs to be clear, challenging, and consequential. We did something; does it work; is it useful? Just imagine any work without this feedback.
My key takeaway from our workshop was that the director actualizes this feedback mechanism. Let's think about it:
These principles are also valid for creative leaders in the business world.
Strong change leaders are expected to save a failing business or to create dramatic growth. They also face the dilemma of dictating what to do versus empowering the top team to work as one team. Remember the feedback mechanism.
Before finding Agile, Ari built software for embedded distributed fault tolerant software for seven years. For the next decade he worked as an organizational therapist with cultural change, teamwork and leadership. Since 2006 he has contributed to LeSS-flavoured Agile transformations including mechanical engineering, market automation, and embedded system development. For the last couple of years Ari had international coaching assignments ranging from teams to board.