I'm reflecting on a couple of flip-charts that I kept from a recent team build. We asked two questions: "Working in this team has been like...?" and "At its very best this team could be...?"
The first question (this team is like...) provoked the following (representative examples...)
- A stone thrown into a pool (reflective, ripples, builds energy)
- Breaking in new boots (stiff then comfortable and getting across the terrain)
- Pass the parcel (gifts progressively revealed)
- A jigsaw puzzle (gradually getting the picture)
- A nice, warm shower (warm, cosy invigorating)
The second question revealed these examples:
- A Formula 1 car (faster, amazing performance)
- The Red Arrows (knowledge, skills and ability to perform)
- Think Tank (powerful, connected, resourceful, challenging)
- Crew of USS Enterprise (Going boldly into the unknown)
- Jazz Impro (creative, leading and following, novelty)
So, using visual metaphors, from this...
It seemed to me that the team was doing just fine living with its more sensual, relational, exploratory images. Yet the rush towards performance, power and risk taking seems really pervasive but I'd be surprised if it actually added much while the risk of fragmenting or stressing the team seems quite high.
Nice to see that the Jazz impro metaphor survives in the brave new world though!