12 June 2014

Patterns not rules

Many years ago, an outdoor education leader mentioned something to a group of young teenagers (including me): "There are no rules, only consequences".

I learnt to appreciate this saying. Some people have the rule "you can't drive through a red light". But actually you can. It is foolish and dangerous to do so in most cases. But it is not impossible. There are just consequences if you choose to do so. If you move away from thinking in terms of rules, there are real benefits.

For instance, I have moved away from thinking in terms of rules for my ultimate teams.

Bob talks about affirmative principles in a similar way.

Here are some examples of phrasing what your team desires as patterns, not rules.

Whereas others might say "Do not ever huck down the sideline" or "Only huck down the middle", say to your teammates "We want to huck down the middle."

So learn, practice and celebrate this pattern. There might on rare occasions be a time when it is good to huck down the sideline. Trust each other to make good decisions, and use your patterns regularly. Examine how they are working for you.

If you have rules, they can be broken. And someone receives blame.

With patterns there is simply a focus on a path to achieving team goals.

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