Chapter 3: Understanding Each Other

At this point I have become very comfortable in my team. Yes, we have successfully created a team to endeavour the journey on creating our own company. Now the journey begins. Luckily the Design Thinking module is designed with a pace dedicated to our team building and company creation progress. Previously I mentioned that many times group work are one of the things that take me out of my comfort zone right? Now I was challenged. Let me tell you how we formed our group. It came to the point where the deadline to form groups to create our companies had arrived and yet still I had no group. In one of our other modules, one colleague kindly asked me and others of our members if we wanted to form a group together. I agreed to it with the mind-set on embarking this journey and observing where it will take me. Most of the time it turns out to be the right way. So was it in this case. In life, often times you do not get what you want but take what is given to you and make the best out of it. Sometimes when I think I know what I want I disappoint myself by making wrong choices. Therefore, I was more than satisfied to have formed my team this way. My group consist of members from different countries and cultural backgrounds with different personalities. This scenario is mirrored in the employment world where you work in an organisation with different people from different backgrounds.

Together, we had our first group interaction to complete the Activity Theory by Engeström et al (1987) learnt in Design Thinking module on a white board as displayed in figure 1 below.

Activity Theory by Engeström et al (1987)

 

The Activity Theory amongst others connects the gap between the separate subject and the social actuality by studying both through the arbitrating activity and culturally interceded human activity (Engeström, 1999). Contextually, this theory aided us in understanding our social interaction within the group. Whilst we were working together I made pleasant observation where each team member was considering of one another, responsive, showed team skills and responsibility. Work division flowed naturally where some members would gather the necessary materials, write the notes on the board and read the points out loud. During that we noticed that we needed to change or rotate tasks for effective workflow and balance.

In my undergraduate studies in BSc International Business at Kingston University, I underwent a module called Culture and International Business where I was thought Tuckman’s group development theory (1965). The Tuckman’s model was prevalent for its effective team work environment formed through the five stages as displayed in figure 2 below (Pmexcell.com, n.d.). From this theory I comprehended that the progress through all stages will be challenging and patient. However, it is necessary to be effective.

Tuckman's group development theory

What I have learnt is that it is vital to be surrounded by a team that equally is considerably very dedicated to reach a common goal, able to perform tasks on their own or as a team, responsible, responsive and help each other. I take away for my future goal to be a good team player in order to achieve a team’s aim whether in employment or as a business owner. In my next blog I will discuss the process we undertook to find our company name and product ideas.

So stay tuned for the next blog!

 

 

 

Links:

‘’ Engestrom et al. (1999) Perspectives on Activity Theory (4)’’

https://idcharred.wordpress.com/2011/08/04/engestrom-et-al-1999-perspectives-on-activity-theory-4/

 

References:

Engeström (1999). Engeström, Y. (1999) ‘Innovative learning in work teams: Analyzing cycles of knowledge creation in practice,’ in Y. Engeström, R. Miettinen and R.-L. Punamaki (eds.) Perspectives on Activity. [online] Available at: https://idcharred.wordpress.com/2011/08/04/engestrom-et-al-1999-perspectives-on-activity-theory-4/ [Accessed 16 Nov. 2017].

Tuckman, B (1965). Tuckman’s Group Development Theory. Pmexcell.com (2015). The most important preparatory document in a Cross-cultural Project team context. [online] Available at: http://www.pmexcell.com/blog/?blogname=important-doc-in-cross-cultural-project-team-context [Accessed 11 Nov. 2017]

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