A Common DNA – On friendship & teamwork.


Creating value and good experiences is a team sport. It takes many people in different roles to define, design, and deliver something of value to the public. With this richness of diversity come the challenge of how to effective collaborate and relate.

Each person is an entity with different character, values, aspiration and more. The  differences are immense. Perhaps that’s why many of us ( including me) have been failing to “connect” and build a “good momentum” toward attaining that valuable peer experience we desire between us and people around.

So how do you align a group of people to work collectively toward the same good?

Playing Together

From the book Orchestrating Experiences, it say;

start with some common guidelines called experience principles.

Experience principles are like “game rules” that people commits to and follows to produce mutually beneficial and differentiated interpersonal experiences. They represent alignment of aspirations and are derived from deep understanding your peers and friends.

In action, they help people in relationship or collaboration own their part (e.g., a dutyor right) hence support consistency and continuity in the end-to-end experience.

Experience principles are not irrefutable laws! or detailed standards that everyone must obey to the letter. Over complicated standards tend to produce a rigid system, which blocks emotions, innovations and creativity.  In contrast;

 with experience principles, it’s more like jazz.

Jazz band depend upon a common foundation and not isolated soloists playing their own tune.  Photo by Roland GodefroyLicense


While each member of a jazz ensemble is given plenty of room to improvise, all players understand the common context. They keep simultaneously performing and carefully listen and respond to one another. They know the standards of the genre backward and forward, and this knowledge allows them to be creative individually while collectively playing the same tune with lots of emotions.

So don’t forget to set some experience principle in any relationship or partnership your in to. Since, similar to a melody, they provide a foundation that encourages supportive harmony. Like musical style, experience principles provide boundaries for what fits and what doesn’t.



  1. More on the topic can be found in the book Orchestrating Experiences: Collaborative Design for Complexity by Chris Risdon and Patrick Quattlebaum, available now from Rosenfeld Media

2 Replies to “A Common DNA – On friendship & teamwork.”

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