The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

There are times in which urgency builds teams

A wise person once said “if you are in a hurry, go slowly”.

Urgency rarely is convenient and yet there are moments in which we hurry.

And there are situations in which we have to work on solution that delivers quick results, where speed and urgency are needed.

Imagine a party with a lot of guests. Let’s say 800. You have organized everything well and have a well-trained team that will make sure the guests feel welcome and appreciated. The rhythm of the evening will create moments with peaks of activity. That is planned. The moments between the peaks are usually used to prepare for the peak. If there is some change in the rhythm, it disrupts the plan. Imagine for example that for some reason 200 guests come in late, dinner has already started and the kitchen had started preparing the next course. Suddenly the team needs to shift attention and go back to the previous course.

It’s a moment for urgency.

The plan has to be quickly adapted.

These are strong moments for teams. They often show how much trust and cooperation there is in a team. They also help teams to reinforce the connection.

I’ve regularly seen such situation. I often like them. Most often what happens is, that the team has an immediate goal in mind and decided to concentrate all its energy on achieving it. These goals usually are deterministic and progress somewhat easy to see. The tasks to be achieved are clear and the work is distributed. Those available and participating see the progress and get an immediate satisfaction from it. The team reinforces its sense of “we are doing this together”. When it’s done, the team looks back and sees that together they solved a threatening situation. A good reason to be proud.

One possible strength of such a situation is, that it allows for a tangible goal, one for which there is no doubt that success has been achieved. In times of knowledge work, a tangible goal reenergizes.

Urgency can create tangible goals. Reaching them created memories. Ones the team remembers and shares with each other to celebrate.

An African proverb says: “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”



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