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Jelled teams and old neighborhoods

Are your team members borrowing flour from each other?

This quote got me thinking:

An old city neighborhood where people know each other and communicate regularly is a social system, and a new apartment block full of strangers is not—not until new relationships arise and a system forms.

Donella Meadows, “Thinking in Systems: A Primer”

I like this as a metaphor for jelled teams.

In the neighborhood that is your team, are people borrowing cups of flour from each other? Are they carpooling to school? How much “hey neighbor, would you mind keeping an eye on my kids so I can run to the store?” is going on?

Replace cups of flour with, I dunno, pairing or rubber ducky debugging. Or swap babysitting the kids with babysitting a build. See where I’m going with this?

Is your team an old city neighborhood? Or is it just some people who happen to live in the same apartment block?