Enhancing Team Cooperation: The Power of Three Concentric Circles and Essential Principles

By visualising team cooperation through these 3 concentric circles (owned, learnt, known), team members can develop a strong sense of personal responsibility, foster collaboration and learning within the team, and gain a broader understanding of the larger context in which they operate. This approach promotes a holistic and effective teamwork dynamic.

  1. Owned Circle: Take full responsibility for individual work.
  2. Learnt Circle: Understand and learn about others’ work that may impact own tasks.
  3. Known Circle: Ensure the team’s goals and the work of all team members are known to everybody.

And there are four points as essential aspects of effective team cooperation when we are considering 3cc.

  1. Individual Responsibility: Each team member takes full ownership and responsibility for their own work. No one should take responsibility away from others in routine tasks.
  2. Cross-Functional Learning: Team members actively learn about the work of their colleagues, fostering a comprehensive understanding of how others’ outcomes may affect their own tasks.
  3. Shared Understanding of Goals: The team’s goals and objectives must be known and agreed upon by all team members. It is important to ensure that everyone is aligned with the common purpose and direction.
  4. Work Awareness: Team members should have awareness and knowledge of each other’s roles, responsibilities, and ongoing work. This understanding promotes collaboration, coordination, and support among team members.

In urgent incidents, when everyone is under pressure, it is crucial to trust individuals in their owned circle to take responsibility and provide solutions. Therefore, offering support rather than asking questions or giving orders can significantly ease the situation. Shifting the communication approach from asking others, ‘Have you done…/You should do…’ to considering ‘What can I do?’ or asking, ‘Can I offer any help on…?’ accelerates the problem-solving process and fosters a better team dynamic. This not only speeds up the resolution progress but also improves the overall well-being of everyone involved.

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