In Group3 consisting of Andre, Louisa, Sara, Remo, Raphael, Matthias and Soren I was lucky to have a team that was very matter-of-fact about the task at hand. At no point did they let the big question overwhelm them. No nerves, no fear. In the process of interacting with them, I’d like to think I’ve learnt a few things that I’d like to share. Instead of calling them “Things a coach can do”, I think it’ll be more appropriate to name them, “Things a coach should *not* do”
Of course, before going any further, a huge thank you to the organisers for the location : Thun lake..there couldn’t be a better cocktail of the lake, the mountains and snow to inspire great ideas.
*Don’t add, remove.
Imagine a sculptor chipping away unnecessary material to reveal the beauty hidden deep inside the stone – that’s how I see my role as a coach in the whole ideation process. More than adding insights or providing new material, I feel that simply removing all the obstacles in the way of the team will free their minds and propel them in the right direction. Less is always more.
*No sitting on heads
It’s very tempting to follow the team and literally hand-hold them as they go about giving shape to the final idea. But, once a task is defined and deadlines are set – I prefer leaving the team to come up with the “how”….call it freedom with checkpoints to verify progress.
*Don’t force methods/tools
Be it methods of working in teams or tools for presentations – laying out a quick and dirty introduction for the team makes a huge difference. After that, its’ upto the team to decide if they’ll adopt a method or tool. For example, inspite of listening to a Kanban intro-capsule by the Head Coach Nadja, my team decided to wing it and just do things together in well defined work-cycles. Doing is also learning!
*No individual idea ownership
This is tricky. Ideally, no one owns the ideas! Once ideas get attached to people (or vice versa) it’s very hard to stay open and look at other perspectives. This may even prevent them from making the idea more concrete. The team strives to make the best of their talents to bloom the final idea – this way failures can be digested and success can be celebrated in good company.
*There is no recipe
Sometimes the best recipe is – to not have one. There’s got to be flexible elements to the creative exercises a coach designs for the innovation process. You get to know the team’s personalities on the fly..so, it’s always good to drop/re-design certain elements based on the temperature in the room.
At the end of the day, we had a blast coming up with the final idea and its’ presentation! It was a wonderful journey and I’m sure everyone of us learnt something that’ll help us fight the Klingons in the future : the ones within us and those outside too.
Coach Rakesh Kasturi, Group 3