Mosaic Team, Part 3: Making ‘Modeling Curiosity’ The Norm

This is part of our series of blogs on the “Mosaic Team” concept.

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow; learn as if you were to live forever.”
– Gandhi

Carol Dweck, a professor at Stanford University, is widely recognized as the developer of the “growth mindset” based upon the belief that people can improve their abilities, intelligence, and talents through deliberate effort.  This approach can also been seen as the cornerstone of building and nurturing a “Mosaic Team.”

In my first blog in this series, I noted the term mosaic has a number of meanings, but in the team context it refers to the skillful organization and operation of a group of diverse individuals to achieve a common goal.  Just as a mosaic art piece is made of different colored tiles, a mosaic team combines various strengths and perspectives to be successful.

One of the most important characteristics of the Mosaic Team (or MT) is the growth mindset Dr. Dweck identified, manifested by the behavior of ‘modeling curiosity.’ Modeling curiosity is a way to bring a Mosaic Team to life.

Ideal teams demonstrate a persistent need to learn, improve, and grow.  What are some of the proven ways we can nurture this behavior?  Here are a few we are seeing come to life in the MTs businesses are building:

1. The “Mosaic Team” operates through a Question Architecture Flow: MTs are not driven by the answers – they are driven by the questions. For example, they start projects and tasks by asking the pivotal question “What problem are we trying to solve?”  Only when they collectively decide on that issue do they move forward to the next key question – “What does success look like?”  I call these questions power questions because they serve as the engine for the MT to be successful.

2. The “Mosaic Team” formalizes continuous learning: With the Question Architecture in place, the MT learns much more efficiently than prior teams have done.  They practice the After-Action Review process habitually.  This collective learning tool forces the team to ask themselves: What was the plan?  What actually happened?  What did we learn?

3. The “Mosaic Team” lives the Reverse Planning Sequence: Starting with the End State in mind, MTs use the Reverse Planning Sequence to achieve success.  Essentially, they plan backwards from then to now.  This concept forces key decisions to be made in time.  The speed of information demands we adapt this way of thinking and doing to be successful.  Incremental approaches won’t work anymore.

These operating principles help shape the “Mosaic Team” into a high-performing, growth mindset group of individuals driven to succeed together.  As the pace of change intensifies, as the realm of AI continues to spread, and as distributed companies compete for market share, the thoughtful integration of talent and energy in MTs by dedicated leaders can be the difference between success and failure.  Enjoy the journey!

P.S. If you have questions, or would like to explore additional strategies to make the most out of your teams, feel free to get in touch via our contact page.

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