Designing Creative Teams: Play makes Hay!
Play releases most Potential, Most Easily, Adding Most Value.
What works for Teams also works for Nature. Why?
Good Form follows True, Beautiful Flow.
It’s built into the way the world works, from geometry to nature, people and society. It’s called Universality and it works for everything…including Football (so it must be true)!
Like a Penrose tiling, finite shapes can create infinitely varied patterns.
This is how universality explores possibilities most easily.
Does that sound familiar? It should — because it’s Play.
Play in terms of recreation, making plans, models and theatre to explore new concepts, ideas and hypotheticals.
What the new sciences of complexity tell us is that Nature can self-organise to evolve, and it does it with lateral, playful dynamics that explore as much information in a possibility-space as possible, most simply & quickly.
Teams are a collective consciousness. So they both work best when they’re connected in as many and varied ways as possible.
When they’re both bottom-up as well as top-down.
Vertical and lateral, focussed and playful in turn, especially when problems need solving and new thinking is needed.
Look at the circles in this background image and how they change relative positions and sizes. That’s just what creativity is — playing with permutations and potentials to find the most ideal and fit for purpose arrangements.
Creativity is both divergent as well as convergent — and it yields moments that flip modes — or even keep both (or several), in superposition, most easily.
In terms of Nash Equilibrium, the most potential is released for the least energy cost during self-organised critical, phase-transition regimes (known as dynamical systems universality); when co-operation replaces conflict.
The geometry of the natural world into which we’re all embedded is fractal and recursively self-similar, it’s feedback-led, bottom up and top down in symphonic harmony, adaptive & resilient, rhyming and resonant, delivering gestalt (wholes that are more than the some of their parts — synergies). That’s what empathy is: emotional fractals and self-similarity between individuals and within teams.
So the best teams are the ones that are best curated and synergised by empathic mentors that tolerate and encourage equality & pluralism.
It’s what the French called an Espirit de Corps and is why a happy, healthy and creative team is also a pluralistic democracy that thrives on diversity, simplexity, shared information and humour, on leadership from the front delivering fulfilled potential for both individuals and the unit — on an emergent unity of shared purpose and meaning, rather than as an imposed, authoritarian “dick-tatorship”.
The geometries that best express these (ultimately, information), flows and behaviours are those of the Asynsis principle — and since they