The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

The group’s task

As a member of quite a few groups, I’m regularly wondering about the task the group has chosen. With individuals in the group, there is rarely a simple answer to what the group has chosen. As everyone joined the group with their individual needs and desires, there always is a tension in the group. It reflects the pulling and pushing of individual approaches.

But sometimes, the discussions will simply be confusing as individuals will take a different perspective on the task. Some will seek to discuss the technicalities of the task whereas others will try to discuss its usefulness.

While it may be the same task as such, the different levels of the conversation lead to discussing two very different tasks. One is the implementation of the task and the other is the integration of the task into the portfolio of tasks the group is addressing.

Both depend on one another, which can make it even more confusing. One is strategic and seeks to know what is to be achieved and what for. The other is a discussion about the “how” and addresses the method that will be implemented when executing the task.

One of the biggest challenges here is to realize that ready-made methods or blueprints need to be adapted to the group’s values and ambitions. It is the individualization of the blueprint, that allows the group to achieve its objectives. Without such individualization, the project may not contribute at all to the group’s objectives. That is true even if people find themselves investing time and resources into it.



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