The Circus team provides BICS with a resource and support to enable development of wholeness, connection to purpose and self-management.
We are relatively new within BICS and were founded as a self-managed team. Starting with a broad remit and a budget felt like big responsibility for us.
We began by co-creating our collective purpose and the principles by which we work and this has guided us well ever since.
Several months in to our journey we felt that we were achieving what we set out to do, and at the same time we also felt that our team was stretched and losing some cohesion. We were feeling the lack of support that in another world a management structure might have given us. We paid greater attention to creating spaces for our team to feel safe and to speak from an authentic place about what matters.
We all shared our support needs; for some it was coaching on specific issues, for some it was feedback on performance. That was the beginning of a peer-support network within the team, a network we are now growing across the organisation.
Right now the idea of defining roles and responsibilities seems present in our thinking. Our team does not have the legacy of hierarchy and the attendant challenge of separating leadership from management, but in our pool of shared resources individual roles can feel hazy.
We speak a lot now about ‘advice’, ‘vision holders’ and ‘experts’, the growing adoption of a BICS advice process being one tool that helps us to consciously define our value and role in what we are working on.
A year on from the beginnings of Circus there are now several teams at BICS who are at the beginning of the journey towards self-management. It is exciting to see the curiosity about how they will make the shift to working in a different way. The most regular question seems to be some variation on ‘how do we do it?’
There is much experience and knowledge that can already be shared, and some guiding principles such as giving good feedback, having an agreed conflict resolution and advice process in place, and these are increasingly well-defined within BICS. Each team will inevitably, and necessarily, have to find the way that works for them.
What I am convinced of is the importance to success in self-management is the capacity to also pay attention to purpose and wholeness. Enabling individuals to connect to an understanding of why you do what you do, and being able to do so in a wholesome way, is what helps self-managed teams flourish meaningfully.
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