The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

The rules that apply

When playing games, people are used to rules. In general such rules are there to organize the game in such a manner that people can develop a common understanding of the game and of how the winner will be determined.

Rules will also contribute to the game by making some of it predictable. There is the tension that emerges when it becomes clear that there is something at stake for the players or teams. All the things that are not allowed contribute to predictability as they either will not happen or be called out as foul play.

But how the players interpret the rules and play within the web of rules remains their choice. It’s what makes the game unpredictable despite all the knowledge one may have about the way a player excels.

These are the written rules.

Independently of any written rule, a group will develop a set of rules it will apply without being ordered to.

These rules reflect the understanding of the group as to how it can stick to its preferred state. It is a state the group perceives as the one that will lead to success and thus survival of the group. Eventually, they become rules as members of the group start to share them and teach others that they apply. Some of these rules result from the way the work had to be done when it was designed. But many of the rules emerge from the way people relate to one another and the tension to how they would want to experience the group. They become rules because people learn what behavior reduces trouble and decide to make a rule of it. It leads to a sense of making things predictable.

The challenge for a group is to determine if the trouble they seek to avoid is the one that will happen immediately or if it is a trouble they see on the horizon.

For the group, what is right or wrong is defined by the rules. It is how they orient themselves.

However, what leads to achieving the task the team set out to achieve will depend on the result and how individuals experience it. For the group it will depend on how aligned the members are in the idea of what that result was to be.



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