|"The most important measure of how good a game I'd played was how much better I'd made my teammates play."
|The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook, pg 355, Charlotte Roberts
Don't even think of starting this work until you have thought through its implications and decided
you want to proceed. This discipline goes well beyond "team building" skills such as creating
courteous behaviours, improving communications, becoming better able to perform everday work
tasks together or even building strong relationships. This discipline inspires more fundamental
changes, with enduring application that will ripple out through the organisation.
Team learning is also the most challenging discipline - intellectually, emtionally, socially and spiritually.
The process of learning how to learn collectively (as compared to individually), is unfamiliar. It has
nothing to do wth the "school learning" of memorizing details to feed back in tests. It starts with
mastery and self-knowledge of, and alignment with (mouse-over the picture here), others on your
(pg 352) For many years, we have used the concept of alignment as distinct from agreement, to
capture the essence of team learning. Alignment means “functioning as a whole”. Building alignment
(you never “get there”) is about enhancing the team’s capacity to think and act in new synergistic
ways, with full coordination and a sense of unity, because team members know each other’s hearts
Disagreement as an opportunity (pg 379)
The moment of disagreement is a cause for celebration. It's a real opportunity to see what's really
going on below the tip of the ice-berg. As alignment develops, people don’t have to overlook or hide
their disagreements; indeed, they develop the capacity to use their disagreements to make their
collective understanding richer.
Often, an affection develops between members of the group with the most opposing views, as if
affection itself is fueled with diversity: "Isn't that amazing," someone might say, "that you have such
a different idea? Why do you feel that way? How did you come to it?"
General guidelines for dialogue sessions (pg 379, William Issacs, Bryan Smith)
one operates separately. When these barriers have dissolved, then there arises one mind,
where they are all one unit, but each person also retains his or her own individual awareness.
That one mind will still exist even when they separate, and when they come together, it will be
as if they hadn't separated. It's actually a single intelligence that works with people who are
moving in relationship with one another. . . . If you had a number of people who really pulled
together and worked together in this way, it would be remarkable. They would stand out so
much that everyone would know they were different."
- David Bohm (physicist, philosopher, & mystic)