Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Connection: Finding your Tribe

As well as reading The Element recently, I've also been reading Seth Godin's Linchpin.  In this Seth refers to another book he has written called Tribes.  Sir Ken writes about the importance of finding your tribe in Chapter 5 of The Element.

Often being in your element involves connecting with others who share the same passion.  "Tribe" members can be collaborators or competitors, can share the same vision or have different ones, but there is a common commitment to the thing they feel born to do.  Meeting up with the tribe can be very liberating  - better than pursuing your passion alone.

Tribe involves domain and field:
Domain - activities and disciplines that people are engaged in
Field - the other people who are engaged in it
Often breakthrough ideas come about when someone makes a connection between different ways of thinking, sometimes across different domains.

Connecting with people who share the same passions affirms that you are not alone - it doesn't matter if you like the people as individuals or even the work that they do.  What matters is having validation for the passion you have in common.

Finding your tribe also provides inspiration and provocation to raise the bar on your own achievements.  In every domain, members of a passionate community tend to drive each other to explore the real extent of their talents.

Why can creative teams achieve more together than they can separately?  It's because they bring together 3 key features of intelligence:
Diversity - different people with different but complementary talents
Dynamic - different ways of thinking can be an obstacle to creativity.  Creative teams find ways of using their differences as strenghts, not weaknesses.  They have a process through which their strengths are complementary and compensate for each other's weaknesses too.  They are able to challenge each other as equals and to take criticism as an incentive to raise their game.
Distinct - (not a committee which has members that are interchangeable and represent specific interests)  Creative teams have a distinctive personality and come together to do something specific - they stay together as long as they want to, to get a job done.

Reflection:  As teachers have we found our tribe?  How are we helping students to connect with others and find their tribes too?

Photo Credit:  Connecting Communities by Shawn  AttributionNoncommercialShare Alike 

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