Jul 012016

Form, Storm, Norm and Perform as developed by Bruce Tuckman in the mid 60’s provides  a guide for all group collaborative efforts.  It describes the phases any group will encounter in an effort to collaborate.  Attention to these stages will guide the group to more efficiently accomplish their task, whether to maximize their work, address an issue or innovate.

Specifically, this is how it applies to the Leonardo project and information gained:


  • Who are the stakeholders?
  • What is their investment, interest, commitment or connection?
  • Identify mission to attract all stakeholders and provide vision to guide group

NOTE:  Vision is big picture goal – Mission describes what is being done to move to vision.


  •  Where is the participant talking from?  NOT experience, degrees or positions.  But exposes outlook on life, influences, passions, interests what is influencing any thoughts, ideas or positions.
  •  Understand each other’s agenda.  Explore disagreements which can inhibit communication or collaborative efforts.  Example:  Right/left-brain metaphor is discounted as “old” science and irrelevant.  The challenge is to not assume the person using that metaphor is not educated on current research and discount the message.  It is best to understand the intent of using that specific metaphor and find a common language which will not be a distraction to any participants but still conveys the message intended.
  •  Punch the Gorilla!  If there are unsaid issues which limit the level of connection, address these issues.  Just because they are not mentioned or acknowledged publicly, does not mean they are not impacting the dynamics of the group.  Recognize that all issues do not need to be addressed; but, be informed about which unsaid issues are inhibiting and which will not serve the current participants by surfacing.
  •  Acknowledge and discuss any hierarchies, positions, titles or arrangements which will impact the dynamics of the group.  Implied positions can severely limit communication and cloud messages.


A common place of operating will emerge which will include shared vision, common language and collective agreement on work process and protocol which serves all participants to move forward.  Note:  This is not considering all the stakeholders, but must apply to the core group.


This entails the processes – steps which lead to agreed upon outcomes and expected results.

  One Response to “Form, Storm, Norm, Perform”

  1. scott
    this post clarified something for me- my key close collaborator in dallas is cassini nazir
    he has been implemented excellent design processes for everything we do

    i think the three of us need a face to face meeting when i get back

    and my collaboration with cassini is a core structural reality

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