Designing Creative Teams:
¡Play makes H(e)y!
No Dick-tators. Yes Curators!
(How to best synergise Emergent Innovation in any Team or System)
Ideal Geometries Release Optimal Potential (& Value) through Curated Play
It’s built into the way the world works, from geometry to nature, people and society. It’s called Universality and it works for igniting innovation in everything…including Football (so it must be true)!
This is how universality explores and evolves emergent possibilities and adds value most easily, rapidly and elegantly.
Play as defined in terms of fun, empathy, 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, elegantly & quickly — all for the least energy cost and shortest time.
This is done by leveraging classical geometrical echoes of quantum complexity, which has enormous computational power.
Teams are a collective consciousness. So they 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, focused 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 or Correlated 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 and more “benefit” options are sampled for the least energy and time “cost”.
Phase-transitions happen when energy levels change, like from day to night and between seasons. Our planetary environment, constantly in flux — has created energy-processing dissipative entities (that began as simple molecules, culminating in us), that have evolved to predict likely futures via models and “experiments”. Play Predicts Possibilities
Like liquid water transforming from either solid ice or gaseous vapour, play happens in a fluid region where order and randomness are in dynamical tension.
Like a rampant Arsenal winning the English FA Cup, “rotation and fluidity” are signatures of Universality in action, in both football and in life.
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 sum 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 and sympathetic mentors that tolerate and actively 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 (at least in permitted, dedicated phases when consensually appropriate), that thrives on diversity, simplexity (or SynPlexity), shared information and lateral, epiphanic shared humour, on leadership from the front delivering fulfilled potential for both individuals and the unit in an Aristotelian “Flourshing”— on an emergent, consensual unity of shared purpose and meaning, rather than as an imposed, solely top-down authoritarian “dick-tatorship”.
This curated and cogent play, with cohesive discovery and testing strategies, leads most easily to an adjacent possible of new possibilities and innovation, just as sight and flight first evolved in nature.
The geometries that best express these (ultimately, information), flows and behaviours are those of the Asynsis principle , of synergised simplexity, or #SynPlexity — and since they’re also those of beauty in nature & culture, science & art (not to mention total football) — perhaps this should come as no surprise at all. ;-)
“Some have called the ongoing trend for ever-more versatile individuals — capable of contributing to every phase of play, and multiple positions — the era of universality, but it may as well be the age of Cruyff.”
In memory of the late, great Johan Cruyff.
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