III.4.3 Three Steps for Building Entangled Organizations
Besides guiding the behavior of the individual, creating and nurturing entanglement for groupflow also profoundly impacts the management of organizations. The previous section has shown six steps that each individual can do to be a better team member. This section introduces three steps that leaders and managers can take to improve teamwork and collaboration in their organization.
1. Weakly connected COINs – strong ties within the team, weak ties across teams: Strong ties build trust and happiness, while weak ties help in information sharing and knowing about opportunities and resources. The goal should be to create high-functioning teams whose members work in entanglement and groupflow, while interacting on an as-needs basis with members from other teams. The best corporate networks have highly entangled islands connected by comparatively weaker ties between the islands. The aim is to build an archipelago with islands of trust. Each island is a COIN of close collaborators. The inhabitants of each island draw satisfaction and happiness from interacting with each other. Occasionally they board their canoes to paddle to another island when there is the need for additional information and resources from outside their core team. Figure 76 shows the e-mail communication network of the 2020 COINs course student, each student is a node, I am the labeled large node in the center. The different teams are clearly visible, the size of a node shows the influence of team members based on their word usage. The purple node right beside me is a teaching assistant helping teach the course, him and I are the connectors in the archipelago of connected teams. However, we are not the most influential team members, this role is held by students in the different teams, as shown for instance by the large blue node at the lower left.
2. Entanglement – join the beat: Entanglement on the organizational level can be measured as synchronicity of interaction. Just like the heart sets the rhythm for the human body, in an entangled organization communication happens synchronously, with informal and formal leaders setting the pulse. This entanglement can e.g., be measured through the rhythm of e-mail exchanges, or the similarity of changes in network structure dynamics. The left chart in Figure 77 shows the e-mail activity of the students participating in the 2020 COINs seminar. It illustrates the rhythm of the COINs course, synchronization and entanglement come from the initially weekly, later bi-weekly meetings, with a peak in e-mail activity before each meeting. The right side in the chart shows my entanglement with my colleagues in my team based on the e-mail activity of my colleagues in their message exchange with me.
Figure 77 Entangled activity pattern of the COINs course
3. Virtual tribes - know the ethics of your interaction partners. An organization will only work well if its members share the same value system. In this sense an organization is a tribe, consisting of different clans with each clan having its own sacred symbols and values. Figure 78 shows again the e-mail network of the 2020 COINs course participants with the connections drawn by the e-mails exchanged among students and teachers. The nodes are colored by the tribes assigned by the words used by each student or teacher. As the chart shows, there are no fatherlander participants in the course, and students in the same team share mostly the same values, most team members are treehuggers, while the team at the lower left with the nodes shown in green is made up of nerds. The peripheral blue nodes did not use enough words, and can thus not be assigned to a tribe. This picture illustrates that well-working teams are members of the same tribes and share the same values.
Figure 78 Tribal structure of the students in the COINs course (left) and my personal tribes in Social Compass (right)
The screen shot of Social Compass at right in Figure 78 shows my personal tribes, for example showing that I am mostly spiritual and nerdish on April 16. Social compass also shows me the same analysis based on the e-mails that other people send to me. The social compass will calculate their tribes for that particular week based on the words in their e-mails to me. Knowing the personality characteristics of my communication partners will greatly assist me in better communicating with them.