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Posts Tagged group work

Build your Toolbox

The start of any journey can be exciting but needs proper planning. I think that any new start up or venture by an NGO or designer needs careful consideration. Tiny Houses would like to build a physical community. There are lots of issues that they need to address.

The first reason for creating a work team is structure. Creating a core work team that you can trust will set a good foundation for a successful journey. Finding link minded people with different skill sets will be useful in building up your tool kit.  A group leader is needed, often the founder. Someone who is passionate about the project and makes the time to put it at the forefront of things. Creating a team will give direction and a shared workload. The size of the group needs to be considered. As I’ve mentioned before, group size determines limits for intimacy. Too big and the team may lose efficiency. Get it right, and you may see results quicker than you thought you would.

The second reason is utilizing tools. Work can be shared and completed far more effectively with a varied group of skilled people. Achieving the right blend of people will boost your chances of success. One important tool that is needed is a technology steward. For Tiny houses who struggle with awareness, possible misconceptions and funding, a technology steward is key. Somebody who understands Tiny Houses can pair the right online platforms to address their goals and issues and build their online community. This is someone who definitely needs to be in the toolbox. 

The third reason is professionalism. We can be our own worst enemy at times. We can have a brilliant new idea we want to try, but can often fail to be strict with ourselves and may take our foot off the gas. A group brings with it a positive pressure. You try harder because you have teammates you don’t want to let down. Regular meetings are arranged and progress is measured. A satisfaction comes with it, knowing that you are collectively working towards your goal in a structured manner. 

Writing up a game plan, as we have done for Tiny Houses will give structure, goals and direction. Finding the right tools for the job can help create a bright future for Tiny Houses.



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Posted in Community, Group 1, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Open Innovator


This week we talked about group sizes, and as a general conclusion, big groups are not the best idea, because sometimes a bit confusing and over tasking( like everyone doing the same and don’t really getting anywhere)…

unless you can work on smaller ones inside of it, and that can work pretty well, specially using some methods like the “Group Pattern”, where the group works in cards that are references to plan sessions for example. In my group we are seven, and making a little research on this cabalistic (as misterious and enigmatic) number in numerology and found some interesting definitions

"The number 7 is the seeker, the thinker, the searcher of Truth (notice the capital "T"). The 7 doesn’t take anything at face value — it is always trying to understand the underlying, hidden truths. The 7 knows that nothing is exactly as it seems and that reality is often hidden behind illusions.

A person who has a chart dominated by the 7 is usually easily picked out of a group. He will be somewhat introverted, perhaps shy (not to be confused with low self-esteem), never truly comfortable in social settings.”

(  And here I can kind of identify my self!) Also, reflecting more about it, on the list my name were duplicated and I guess I could have been in group seven :o ok, this is getting awkard…!

 It is true that working in groups can be tricky, as in this series that I was just watching, Prison Break (I know, it’s old, but I’m finishing the last season, finally! So no spoilers please!). They had to work in this group with all kinds of people, persuing the same goal, but for different reasons and vallues, which make the goal not that clear, and represents lots of conflict! It’s na extreme example, but shows how can teamwork not work if you put your own issues before the group.

 In the beggining, probably because of the number of people in the group and that we didn’t know each other enough, we were confused, but when we realised what path should we go, it was easier to divide tasks and have it done. We also setted a date to our meetings, so we can produce knowing that on Tuesday we have to be a step ahead. And it really made the difference.

The group improvement was made in part for it self. The ones who feel more comfortable on talking took that task on meetings with the NGO and Nancy, for example. There are the ones who prefer to search on the internet, others that have good network and can talk with friends to help somehow. I think it was a very good way to set roles and design tasks, because it is more probable that you do better and with more effort something that you appreciate on doing. We also combined couples to do tasks that are similar, as smaller groups inside the whole, which will “report” the new achievements to the rest of the group to make judgements aand helping improving. In this case we have just the odd number, the if the group get stucked in a decision it will never going to be 50/50.

We divided the group in 3 main goals, which are virtual learning with local universities, techology equipment donating and how to present a good video, then in this three we splitted in others, as for me I will search about other universities that have done it before, background in general, but also help the others if I find something interesting in the way.

 It’s definetly a good thing to always ask what you didn’t understand about something that a teammate said, for example, and I continue doing that. Listen to what they are saying, analyse it and put your opinion, be the devils advocate. Sometimes one idea of a brainstorm seems amazing, until you talk to na other person, specially someone in the outside, who shows you that it’s not that good or it’s not suitable for your goal, like the “PAGE Book Challenge” that my group had..we’re so excited about it in the moment that we didn’t think about some details that made it not the best idea for PAGE. But still is good to brainstorm and expose your insights for your group anyway.

Finally, in that way, we could narrow our random ideas into a few that we think could really help PAGE.


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Posted in Community, Group 8, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Maíra's Project Community blog