By Bradley L. Kirkman
It is useful to think about teams as having three dimensions:
- the team as a whole
- the individuals in the team
- the subteams within the overall team, or the smaller subsets of team members who cluster together to work on specific tasks. With teams taking on more and more complex tasks, it is not uncommon for members with similar skills to tackle various assignments over a period of time and then integrate their outputs into the larger, overall team.
How does a leader know when to focus on which dimension?
The secret lies in knowing how a particular team best carries out its tasks, specifically a concept known as interdependence. Team interdependence refers to the extent to which a team requires members to communicate, collaborate, integrate, and coordinate their efforts to get their jobs done.
By Colleen Knechtel
What interdisciplinary competencies are required for innovation? How can such interdisciplinary competencies be implemented to foster innovation?
Keys to stimulating innovation are cultivating interdisciplinary mindsets and skillsets. Interdisciplinary mindsets involve recognizing diverse knowledge to enable collaboration to enhance collective creativity, whereas interdisciplinary skillsets embrace relational competencies, work experiences, the sciences, humanities, trades and technologies. Integrating such diverse knowledge and skills is key to innovation.
Strategies for implementing interdisciplinary competencies
1. Recognizing prior knowledge and skills
A ‘growth mindset’ that focuses on strengths and competencies that is grounded in transformative learning strengthens confidence, affirms lifelong learning abilities, and motivates individuals to identify and address learning gaps.
By Faye Miller
How can the many paradoxical tensions that arise in transdisciplinary projects be effectively navigated?
My recent research into how to produce shared understanding for digital and social innovation identifies three key tenets for navigating paradoxes as an emerging transdisciplinary method:
- Identifying paradoxical tensions;
- Moving from either/or to both/and thinking; and
- Working through paradoxes to workable certainty or negotiated understanding.
Identifying paradoxical tensions
A paradox involves contradictory-yet-interrelated elements that exist simultaneously, which morph, shift and persist over time. Increasing our focus on paradoxes fosters the development of creative and innovative mindsets encouraging transdisciplinary researchers to employ both logic and intuition in their approaches.
By Stephen M. Fiore
What are the attitudinal, behavioral, and cognitive issues that influence interdisciplinary collaborations?
The illustrations I provide here are based upon 20 years of experience working in research environments with scholars ranging from philosophers, anthropologists, and sociologists, to historians, economists, and ecologists, to psychologists, computer scientists, and neuroscientists. This experience has helped to illuminate what creates challenges during interdisciplinary interactions and what also can contribute to effective collaborations and help scholars learn from each other.
Often times interaction is stifled when collaborators maintain some form of disciplinary disdain. The characteristics of disciplinary disdain include lack of respect or a form of contempt for another disciplinary approach, or condescension toward another discipline. An example is the view basic researchers sometimes show for applied research.
By Global Leaders of Interdisciplinary and Transdisciplinary Research Organisations
What qualities and skills do leaders of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research organisations need?
Leaders of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research organisations need the qualities that make any leader successful—creativity, humility, open-mindedness, long-term vision, and being a team player. In addition, we identified eight leadership attributes that are specific to interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary interactions and that help leaders to be transformative with real world impacts. Leaders need to cultivate:
Highlighted posts on participation
By Rawiri Smith
Collaboration is important in New Zealand as a method of bringing communities together to work on complex problems. A useful collaborative model is the Powhiri, practiced by Maori, the indigenous people of New Zealand, for hundreds of years.
The formal welcome to an area in New Zealand is a Maori process known as the Powhiri. The Powhiri recognises the mana of all the participants. One of the most important values of the Maori people is manaaki, or caring for the mana of everyone. The Maori word mana means the importance associated with a person. The performance of a Powhiri acknowledges the importance of a person being welcomed to an area.
The deeper meaning behind the Powhiri process gives more meaning and indicates what should be occurring through the Powhiri.
By Hara W. Woltz and Eleanor J. Sterling
What can art contribute to participatory modelling? Over the past decade, participatory visual and narrative arts have been more frequently and effectively incorporated into scenario planning and visioning workshops.
We use arts-based techniques in three ways:
- incorporating arts language into the process of visioning
- delineating eco-aesthetic values of the visual and aural landscape in communities
- engaging art to articulate challenges and solutions within local communities.
The arts based approaches we use include collage, drawing, visual note taking, map making, storyboarding, photo documentation through shared cameras, mobile story telling, performance in the landscape, drawing as a recording device, and collective mural creation.
By Carrie Kappel
What is the groan zone in collaboration? What can you do when you reach that point?
As researchers and practitioners engaged in transdisciplinary problem-solving, we know the value of diverse perspectives. We also know how common it is for groups to run into challenges when trying to learn from diverse ideas and come to consensus on creative solutions.
This challenging, often uncomfortable space, is called the groan zone. The term comes from Sam Kaner’s diamond model of participation shown in the figure below. After an initial period of divergent thinking, where diverse ideas are introduced, groups have to organize that information, focus on what’s most important, and make decisions in order to move forward into the phase of convergent thinking.
By Nagesh Kolagani
Citizens are increasingly coming together to solve problems that affect their communities. Participatory modeling is a method that helps them to share their implicit and explicit knowledge of these problems with each other and to plan and implement mutually acceptable and sustainable solutions.
While using this method, stakeholders need to understand large amounts of information relating to these problems. Various interactive visualization tools are being developed for this purpose. One such tool is ‘serious gaming’ which combines technologies from the video game industry – mystery, appealing graphics, etc., – with a purpose other than pure entertainment, a serious, problem driven, educational purpose.