Welcome to Module 3. This week, we'd like to talk about groups and teams and ways to have them continually learn and also contribute to the larger organization on an ongoing basis. But first, let's introduce the team once again. >> Well, thank you Alan. Hello everyone, this is Amrita and it's a delight for you to join us again. Hi, this is Ramya Kumar. Glad to have you here with us today. If you have experienced our module one and module two, welcome back to module three. >> Hi, I'm Dana Kaminstein. Looking forward to being with you again. >> And I'm Alan Barstow. And this team, we're trying to demonstrate to you what a team looks like and how their interaction patterns can be effective or sometimes ineffective I supposed as well. But rather than just tell you how you should behave, we're trying to use these methods and tools ourselves. We see this module as having three main components. I will call them buckets. The first is, what gets in the way when we try to do organizational learning? What prevents us? What disables organizational learning from happening? The second bucket is, okay, once we've done that, as you well know by now, you don't just fix what's wrong with the organization. You really have to work from strength-based approaches and work on what's positive and what's working well. So we would like to then examine some of the key points that enable organizations to be effective, for teams to be effective. And to take the learning that they're coming up with, the breakthroughs and innovations, and begin to move them into the larger organization. And that's the third bucket or the third dimension component. And that is that even when your team is effective and successful and has accomplished some new breakthroughs and some innovations, your job is not done. Your work in the team is about getting the concept and idea out of the box, out of the team and into the larger organization. This is a problem of diffusion, of spread and often times the reverse encapsulation that the new learnings are encapsulated in the team and do not diffuse or spread to others. So those are the things we want to talk about. We do want to point out that in terms of organizational learning and teamwork that there's much hear that it's difficult work. And yet, you all have some experience of doing it and we're trying to combine our experiences so that we can understand what works and what's the most effective and what works over. I would argue that, in terms of organizational change and organizational learning, it doesn't happen because you want it to happen. You don't dictate it to happen. You don't command it to happen, you create space for it to happen and you encourage other people to be part of that conversation. So inviting people to a meaningful conversation about these things where the answers are unknown, where you, in a sense, admit I don't have the answers. We need to learn our way forward. That these are the exciting opportunities that you need to create in your organization. We'll talk more about that. But I will characterize that right now as the difference between exploration and discovery on the one hand, and exploitation and production on the other. We're all so busy with our work and getting things done on time, on schedule, on budget, that what often gets short cut in that process is the learning space, the reflective space, the time to really think about best ways and best practices. All right, so as we focus on what disables organizational learning, what gets in the way, some of the obvious first level issues, I think, are time, resources, and authority. The work team has its work to do, but does it have the time to do it? And does it have the resources it needs to do its work and really does it have the authority? A couple of things come to my mind that I have seen in organizations. Work teams or project teams are sometimes setup as often times a bypass or part of the. But if you and others want to go off and work on that, okay, go work on that. Go [LAUGH] and that's really the message because it's not connected to other things. But it's, the time, there are no deliverables, there are no specified deliverables or timelines. So that's an issue. The resources they need, often times the priorities are just added on to other priorities that everybody has. As opposed to, well, this is a priority and you need to do this before you do other things. So those are the questions. And then it's the authority of how does this team's work connect to the decision making of the larger organization? Is it just a bypass, is it just a way to go off and keep people busy and from getting in the way of business as usual. So this question of, do they have the authority, how is the team's findings, how are those findings connected to the decisions the organization needs to make? Those things should be clear and set out from the beginning. >> Yes, and I'm sure if you've joined us for the first and the second module, you would find us sort of diving deeper and building upon what we already learned in module one and two. And that's interesting because time, resource, and money are the top of the mind. You recall them immediately that you don't have time, those resource, the authority, and those are things that somehow we keep fighting for everyday. But there is something that's far deeper in the iceberg, which are the undiscussables which you don't discuss, you don't talk about. And those could be the assumptions that are made, the taste and norms within the organization. And I wonder if we were to unpack the undiscussables, what are some of the things that Ramya or Dana you would say are more that we feel everyday as we go to work. >> Well, one thing that comes to my mind, top of my mind is that in some organizations we have leaders talking about it's, okay, we want your ideas on the table, we want you to brainstorm, we want you to come up with solutions. And more often than not the undiscussable is that when you come up with that solution, when someone from the team offers it, there are things that we hear like that's a great idea, but. >> But, yes. >> It's nice, I'm sure we can look at this however, right so. >> We've tried this before. >> Before, so sometimes what happens is that it goes into repetitive patterns or loops that even if someone solicits idea from you, you want to give an idea but you're also aware of where this is going. The buts and howevers and that could inhibit you from even providing ideas or doing it with conviction that, yes, this will be heard. >> And that becomes the stereotype, doesn't it? >> Mm-hm. >> That this idea, that we cannot discuss ideas because ideas get rejected, and then they all cover up. And when the leader says, give us some ideas. And then, the leader is surprised that the hall is silent. >> I'd like to build on that. >> Yes. >> One of the things that Argyris mentions about undiscussables is that it's undiscussable to discuss what's undiscussable. So you have a problem that even it's hard to raise the undiscussable because even raising it opens the door that you might be talking about the undiscussable. So I think it's as you said, you use the analogy, again, of the iceberg. It's down under the surface and it's hard to get it up to the surface. Yeah, I think undiscussables, some things are considered sacred in organizations and it's not possible to discuss them. Another aspect of this, though, in terms of information isn't just that it can't be discussed oftentimes our teams are made up of different team members. They represent different skill sets, or different parts and functions of the organization, and we have information that we hold close to our vests. >> Yes, yes. >> Because that's our advantage, our competitive advantage. If I know it, then I'm important. And if I give it away, well, then I'm not needed anymore. So this question about holding information in teams and organizational learning is a key issue that we've seen time and time again, and I suspect you have seen it as well. The issue here, though, is that if it is, we have this thing mentality. If this idea is a thing, well, then I have it and you don't or if I give it to you then now you have it and I don't. It's a zero sum game. But typically in information and concepts and ideas, if I have an idea and you have an idea and we exchange our ideas, then we each have two ideas and that we can benefit. So this idea of sharing information, this is a big bottleneck and breakthrough in many organizations to begin to share and put issues and concerns and ideas on the table. Because we like to hold those back because it gives us leverage. It gives us an important power base. So that's just one aspect also, undiscussables and then the holding of information. >> And oftentimes, Ramya, we were talking about how we see the top level of the management saying the middle level doesn't have enough line of sight and then the bottom says, we have no sense of direction. They are just completely saying, but we have no idea what the leadership is doing. >> Absolutely, and what's more closely linked to that is this very idea of short-term focus versus long-term focus. Sometimes we have steering committees, task forces to set to do this wonderful visioning exercise. And they come up with, these are our long-term priorities, our mission, vision, whatever, and then when they are done with their, more often these fanciful retreats useful for doing all these visioning exercises and we all know it. And then when we come back, it's back to reality, we are found. We are caught fire fighting, so then we get caught so much into the short-term realities that it's oftenly disorienting. What we were thinking about long-term and yet we are, we are trying to put that [INAUDIBLE] somewhere, there is fire somewhere, people shouting out. And more often than not what happens is that this get's combined with the double-edge sword of cost-cutting. So when you have the need to be there on the ground and fight for the day in and day out without having that space to envision the future or work towards the future. And then we have these cost-cutting activities. This can be very impactful in organization and not always in a positive way.