Building Team Collaboration
Today, I want to talk to you about why a top creative team is like a top surgical team, and how you can use the techniques of surgeons to improve the creative work that you do.
Team Collaboration: High Performing Functional Unit.
Hi, this James Taylor here keynote speaker on creativity, innovation and artificial intelligence, and the founder of SuperCreativityU, I was recently interviewing Professor Roger Kneebone, he has been a top surgeon, and he’s now an academic in London. And we were talking about the role of improvisation in the work of top performers. – Team Collaboration: High Performing Functional Unit.
And when we talk about top performers, I mean, top sales performers, top performers, in the art, top performers in medicine, as well. And we were talking about that, across all of these, you will see amongst a really high functioning team is a level of improvisation with each other. So individuals in that team are able to improvise and develop their skills to such a level where they are not just doing things by templates, but they’re able to improvise at the moment in real-time. And he was talking to me about something a similarity you sometimes see between a jazz Group, a jazz band, and a top surgical team, you see with it with a top jazz group, if you’ve watched them on stage or watch a video, you’ll see that they’re improvising, they’re in the moment, they have a form, they have a structure, but they’re reacting to what everyone else is doing in real-time, as one musician goes down one place, the other person reacts, and they come in around them and come and bind. And they have this flow that goes on in the creative work they do. Likewise, Professor Kneebone was saying a top surgical team is very much like that as well. So the surgeon needs a test, the swab nice, they’re all working in this kind of improvisational way. So as that surgeon is cutting, and he finds it as a particular problem with this thing, and there’s excessive bleeding and this thing, the team is automatically responding and working, working around and supporting each other in their joint endeavor together. And he says beautiful to watch is almost like this one thing is going to move in sync with each other. – Team Collaboration: High Performing Functional Unit.
Now, to get to this higher level of collaboration is the type of creative collaboration we’re looking at here. It requires a willingness, and a real keenness, and the ability to watch and to listen, and to respond at the moment. You know, in this case, surgeons, they’re watching, they’re listening to the beeps, listening to the machines that are kind of going on. They’re watching the patient, they’re watching each other, the hands, the movements that are kind of going on, they’re feeling that sense in the room. And they’re responding in real-time, like with a musician in a jazz group, where one player plays something. And they’re responding, whether it’s in terms of call and response, or whether they could almost instinctively feel that movement that they’re going on together, they’re going on the journey together as well. – Team Collaboration: High Performing Functional Unit.
High Performing Functional unit.
So have a think about it. In the case of your own creative team, have you developed that ability as a team to have that type of flow in the work you do? Now, by doing it doesn’t mean that we have to have all members a team or exactly alike. In fact, some of the greatest jazz music involves personalities who are wildly different from each other, completely different life experiences, different backgrounds. But they come together in an improvisational context in this one. Likewise, in top surgical teams, you have solos, very skilled as a surgeon might have someone who’s very skilled as a nice to someone very skilled as a nurse, but they come together, and they work as a unit, there are a high performing and functional unit.
So ask yourself in the team that you work with just now, can you all improvise as a team? Do you have those skills? Do you have the abilities? If not, there’s a couple of things I would suggest you do here. First of all, think about the actual composition of the team as well. Do you have enough diversity in the team with complementary skills, skills that can match and they can work together not the same skills, but they have a complementary nature to what they’re doing? Secondly, sometimes you just need to do other things outside of the operating room, outside of the bandstand. In order to build that trust that you have to have, which is sometimes called psychological safety. Dr. Amy Edmondson from Harvard University, you have to build this level of trust and empathy of simpatico with your team, not to the level that you can collaborate and improvise together at the moment at the right time.
Let me know what your thoughts are on this idea of improvisation being able to improvise as Maybe Tell me a story that you had a team. In your case where you’re able to kind of get to this higher level of collaboration, leave it in the comments below. – Team Collaboration: High Performing Functional Unit.