The Social Network
Over the weekend I watched this movie called The Social Network. As a geek, I felt that I was somehow mentally obligated to see this movie :-). While I was watching this movie, I noticed a subtle detail that was shown a couple of times throughout the film. This subtle detail showed how this small team of geeks maintained and preserved the productivity and efficiency of their team. Basically, whenever someone barked into a room where geeks were working, team members that were not working or having a break protected their peers that were "in the zone" from any kind of interruptions from this person. So the individual that marched in there wasn’t allowed to talk or interrupt someone that was working. If this individual did try to interrupt a working member of the team, he got told that this person was not available and to leave him or her alone. If the person working somehow still got distracted, the non-working team member reminded him of his responsibility by firmly telling him "you’re working", trying to get his peer back to whatever he was doing.
I don’t know whether this is actually part of the team culture at Facebook, and frankly, it doesn’t matter. I just find this to be a cool and fascinating idea. I’m intrigued by this notion of a team that takes responsibility for preserving their flow and velocity, protecting other members of the herd from interruptions and any other kind of events that prevent them from effectively doing their job. Sounds pretty self-organizing to me.
I have to admit that this is also the first time I actually learned something useful from a Hollywood movie. I must say that this feels weird too ;-).