At the moment within Compania Cielito we are working behind the scenes to set up a structure of roles for each individual who is also dancing in the group. This enables us to keep the costs down while giving each individual the possibility to give more to the group process through their own professional and personal abilties. Making the team far stronger than if you rely on one individuals capabiltiies that are always and very naturally limited to a set number of skills and weaknesses.
In one of our meetings a question came up about equality from one of our members, who assumed that equality meant that everyone should have control over all aspects of the teams behind the scenes work. It raises an interesting question about equality in relation to effective team work, individuals taking responsibility and authority in areas of expertise. What is equality? whether in a team like ours, the battle between the sexes in the feminist movement or in a relationship between 2 people. In many ways similar to the situation of a communist regime or the purely capitalist approach seen as two extremes.
My take on it is that there are two basic options:
1. Equality can be taken as the giving of equal power and authority in all aspects, usually decisions are made by group consensus with some individuals pushing an agenda. Equalizing regardless of social standing, income, abilities.
2. Equality through the realization that we are all different, with this having different skills, weaknesses, interests, motivations and formed conceptualization about what the world means to us. Within a team or company the hope is to create a team of people with complimentary skills that also bypass the effect an individuals weakness might have.
These different idea of equality are often the reason for misunderstanding within our group process. I wonder now if the first understanding is more governed by personal wish to control rather than trust others to get things done. A personal element also exists that people want to do things they like to do and this approach to equality makes it seem viable.
I am a big advocate of the second understanding of equality. Over the years in various group processes i have started from the first one as an ideal for the way i am working with people. My experience was that there was a lot of inclarity in situations, individuals pushing for things they want or need at the expense of what we do as a collective and at times at the expense of other individuals in the group. It also means that individuals don't feel seen for what they are able to do and often don't recieve enough authority from the rest of the team to be effective.
SO... now in this process i think its time to get clear that we are aiming for a way of working that celebrates the individuals ability within our team, giving them authority by entrusting them with the responsibility to get it done. Actively following their lead and giving help and support when needed. Less formal structuralization and more clarity of our roles enabling a free flow of supporting each other rather than being bogged down with formality and procedure. There will always be things we want to do from another role, sometimes there will be a space for this and sometimes not. I have the feeling people should earn the things they want, in the sense that often more work is created to achieve what is wanted so the individual needs to show they are serious and willing to but the work in to make it worth while. Realising that its more than a playground wim but that there are actual skills involved that need learning and appreciating before some aspects of the team work can be shared. Next challenge is to define this idea of working. More thought needed...