Tag Archives: #openspace

Magical – Teams

The Four Rules state:
Whoever come are the right people.
Whatever happens is the only thing that could have.
Whenever it starts is the right time.
When it’s over, it’s over.
and The Law of Two Feet states that:

“If during the course of the gathering, any person finds themselves in a situation where they are neither learning nor contributing, they must use their feet and go to some more productive place.”

If you are familiar with open space, then you know what I am talking about. If not, then open space is a way to run a conference/meetings/retreat. Now, if you are a control freak I am sure this sounds scary because this is all about trusting the process – BIG TIME.

Why am I talking about this? Last weekend we were at Give Back Hack(athon) in Cleveland. This is like a 48 hour startup weekend. Adam presented his idea on Friday, his idea made it to the top 10 out of the 50 ideas pitched. We were joined by 7 other people (self-selection) making us a team of 9 people. The idea was to employ homeless youth to screen print t-shirts and sell them. Screen printing suits the homeless youths flexibility, skill set.

Over the course of 40 hours, we did user validation, talked to people, built our business model with financials and social impact model. We also built our Minimal Viable Product called
Wild Tiger Tees managed to get 17 orders in 5 hours and pitched our final presentation and we won!!!

We started off as nine strangers who met on Friday night, and by Sunday night we were a high-performing team of screen printing experts. How cool is that? Most of the team members spoke to a few other groups and came back feeling very grateful for the team we have.

If you ask me what contributed to our success was the following
1. People: It is imperative the team be happy – happy people – great work. We had a fun champion who at every hour would make us do something or laugh. And by the end of it, we were all looking forward to jokes. And even now seems it’s going to become something of a tradition. We also had a closing down routine where we would all gather in a circle with our arms crossed and shout – Fired Up

2. Patience: When I started on Friday – I knew where I wanted us to go as a team. But if I had stated that on Friday evening – it would have been a flop. So I selfishly kept those ideas to myself and let the team plow through it. By Saturday afternoon I had two people come to me and state that it was getting a little confusing. That was my cue to get everybody into focus and move on.

3. The team takes priority: However great you think your idea is – unless you get the team to buy into it – success will elude you. Hence, it is essential to not get attached and trust the process. Sounds easier than done for sure. And it comes with lots of practice and experience. And as a control freak – I can tell you how painful the process is.

Experiences like this become memories and fill a space within our empty souls. I am very grateful to have been the medium for this to happen and also to experience this.

If you are so called by our cause – please place a pre-order at Wild Tiger Tees