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Touching Jelled Teams

Teams need to jell. So let us skip the hard part and say you have a team that has jelled. Congratulations, that is really hard to do and you have succeeded! You must be amazing.
So now that you have captured magic in a bottle, you should do everything you possibly can do to not disrupt this well oiled machine, right? What would happen if you:
  • Change the kind of work we do or
  • Add a person to the team or
  • Remove a person from the team?
Is that the end? Does that mean you will destroy the good thing that you spent the last 3 hard years building, piece by piece?

I am going to go with no, a jelled team is like Theseus Ship.
The ship wherein Theseus and the youth of Athens returned from Crete had thirty oars, and was preserved by the Athenians down even to the time of Demetrius Phalereus, for they took away the old planks as they decayed, putting in new and stronger timber in their places...
— Plutarch, Theseus
Did Theseus ship fail when any one board was swapped? Did it no longer float? Would it no longer have allowed them to "return from Crete?" No, it was maintained, not destroyed. In fact, what would have happened if the Athenians had said no we cannot change any part, for fear it will destroy the whole?

It would have withered away into nothing. The key here is that Jelling is the maintenance, not the Team.

Jelling is something you do, not something you are.
As soon as we realize that jelling is a process and not a state, then how can we be scared of change? Jelling is a process of constant change; change is something we should embrace, not fear. If your team is Jelling that means it can change and that it will change well.

©Erik Summerfield 2022 Last Updated: 3/22/2022