A group or organization can become a productive community. The transformation occurs when the people commit to do something they do not know how to do. It is then that they learn how to learn as a group. When the group improvises together and success follows, the whole is seen as greater than the sum of the parts. People are magnified by their experiences. Individuals feel their capacities unfold because being part of the successful team lifts them to higher levels of performance and growth.
This realization of potential is exhilarating. People begin to speak in the language of potential and become bonded in unusually positive relationships. They see each other’s strengths. They also recognize each other’s shortcomings but are not moved to judgment. Instead they willingly support one another. Indeed, they simultaneously challenge and support each other.
This means the normally individual and transformational characteristic of being high on task and high on support, has become a group characteristic. The team has internalized the patterns of transformational leadership. As result of their collective success, they believe in each other and become confident they can handle any challenge the future may hold.
Even after the members of a productive community separate, there is still a lasting artifact. Years later they remember the accomplishments and the relationships with fondness, and as high points in their careers. They are sure that, if they were reassembled, they could again function with greatness.