'Positive social relationships are a primary need; [...] the key is to find ways to foster safe connections between people.' Some examples are clearly defined buddy systems, mentoring or coaching programs, or small action learning groups. Small groups seem to be safer than large groups. (...)'David Rock, NeuroLeadershipJOURNAL.
Two weeks ago, we started our fifth QLab Sprint with a remote team of five young professionals worldwide. Again, we had to bring together people who had never met in the analog world to create value for our customers from day one. As Rock says, social connections are critical, and we'd like to share some examples of how QLab principles help create a safe environment for our team members.
Every morning from 9 to 9:15, one of the team members hosts a check-in where we share personal insights. Questions like 'What's on your wish list?", "What's your favorite food?", "What's your favorite movie?" or "What's your favorite piece of art?" are answered with images uploaded to Miro. (During one of our recent check-ins, we found out that three of us love Wes Anderson movies - a nice coincidence that helps us relate to each other since we have similar interests). Using images supports storytelling - an essential element of our work, as it helps us to evoke memories and emotions and understand each other better.
While the check-in helps improve our relationships, the Daily, which we do every morning from 9:15 to 9:30, allows us to update others on what we did the day before, what's on our agenda today, and where we need help. After the Daily, the team collaborates, does individual desktop research, or conducts interviews. It's up to them how they go about their day, but we stress that it's important that they spend some time together in front of the camera to stay connected.
We use WhatsApp when we want to share important information or have questions between our meetings. The team is also invited to contact us as coaches at any time.
Our wrap-up takes place around 4 pm. During this short meeting, we review the day and share our feelings before calling it a day.
The Weekly, held on Thursdays from 9-10:30 a.m., is dedicated to our customers. The team presents the results of research and interviews, receives feedback, and all participants discuss what needs to be addressed.
The consolidation of findings concludes the week.
Our weekly retrospective on Thursdays from 2 pm helps us reflect on our teamwork and what needs to be improved. The Retromat helps us find the right actions to take, focusing on our ability to give feedback in a respectful but bold and open way. The team is also responsible for finding solutions to problems they face. In this way, our team members experience and practice self-responsibility and self-efficacy.
All our events take place at the same time to create another important aspect thanks to David Rock: Certainty.
David Rock, NeuroLeadershipJOURNAL.
The act of creating a sense of certainty is rewarding. Examples of this can be found everywhere in daily life: Music with simple, repetitive patterns is rewarding because you can predict the flow of information. Fulfilling expectations increases dopamine levels in the brain, a reward response (Schultz, 1999). Returning to a familiar place feels good because mental maps of the environment are easily recalled.
Next time I will introduce you to our Design Thinking approach. Stay tuned!