Our 1st ‘Conflict’?
This week began slightly slower. Our group has settled into a comfortable spot with regards to the area we want to cover (based on the previous few rounds of customer interviews) and trying out a customer segment that we hope would give us enough quantity of information to analyze. This phase is meant to take longer (and Brian said it took him 1 to 2 months to reach the scale) and we are trying to achieve this in 3 days or so. Hahahhaz. Talk about ambition and our need for speed!
But that’s where we think we started to notice cracks. Our meetings were beginning to be slower in speed now, and the contents of our meeting were not very focused. It took us about 1.5 days to settle a survey, and I think people are also trying to think of what to do for their next phase in life.
Was it a motivation thing? Are we losing our passion point as a group? What did we each feel about the phase of our group’s current stage of progress and what expectations do we have? During our Monday check-in, we all felt AMAZING. But yesterday (Tuesday) during a class check-in, all 3 of us had different expressions of where we are now:
- “I feel like we are not up to speed”
- “I don’t really know where we are supposed to go after this phase”
- “I think we are in a good place. We have narrowed down on the area and customer segment and we just need to know that this is the customer segment we can work together with as they might have big enough pain points that will enable us to provide a product/solution worth doing”
We were quite divided on how we all expressed our thoughts in that large group meeting. And I felt concerned. We just had our own group meeting the day before and everyone expressed they were okay and happy with where we were. But our individual check-ins the next day spelt differently.
Later in the day, we worked on the survey since one of the members felt we were not up to speed and another member needed help with the survey (which was admittedly quite difficult for first timers like ourselves — one big pain point! :P).
As we were working, one of the team members expressed her concern. We talked about it, and I realized immediately we were at our first conflict point as a group. I could sense we were wanting and expecting different things, and because there was no clear leader or facilitator, there were a lot of latent, unexpressed needs. Things that were shown both in emotions and the words we chose to use. Knowing that the person was more of a logical, direct and open person, I gave clear examples of how it was nobody’s fault that we are at this stage. Things were happening so fast that we weren’t checking in nor constantly updating each other about what we needed. Even when expressed in the functional sense across a few meetings (such as ‘we need a timeline’), as a group we had poor discipline in following through. We wanted an external structure because we knew we wanted to work as peers and keep it amicable among the 3 of us, as well to give us that sense of direction within a state of chaos (to which we are PRETTY USED to by now all thanks to Hyper Island’s methodology! hahahaz). We tried to use fun and social as a way to bond each other together, and in a way, escaping from the need to set clear defined and agreed upon goals, structures, and role delineation so that we could all depend on that as well. I’m not sure if we were all too worried about breaking out of Stage 1 and moving into Stage 2, even when we knew and have gone through so many rounds of reflection that this is a normal process of group development.
But having an awareness of the potential problems is just the first step! As a group working on a theme park vision on building deep and meaningful relationships, we need to build an authentic brand that understands and acts on the principles we espouse and have undergone ourselves. Otherwise, we will only be a theoretical brand with no internal and eventual external credibility.
How do we move on from here? Is this doom for a startup that has barely gone past the problem-finding stage? Of course not! Not for us Hyper Islanders at least! Hahhaz. We have just initiated our first ‘serious social dinner’! The team seems to be ready to talk about this after a brief discussion on whatsapp, and we are gonna see how we can blend brain-draining value-driven discussions over cheap pasta in town!
Look out for our updates! :P
Stay Organic Peeps! ☺