I have the privilege of coaching an FLL Robotics team in the 2019 City Shaper Competitions. It's an amazing experience working with so many talented kids. I am lucky to get the Best Coach award which also encouraged me to share my experiences.
TALENT FOR A TEAM IS A CONSTANT.
CORE VALUES FOR A TEAM ARE VARIABLES WHICH CAN BE ADJUSTED.
I explained further that success is a product of a constant (Talent) and a variable (Core Values). Constant can not be changed, hence, the only way to improve the chances of a team's success is by fine-tuning variables just like what you do in the PID controller.
TALENT * CORE VALUES = TEAM SUCCESS
Kids agreed but they were still not sure if this variable is really that important, hence, I asked them to do some simple calculations. Let's assume 4 teams have a different level of talent by adding individual talent for each member on a 1-10 scale. As explained in the diagram below, I asked them to adjust the value of the variable i.e. Core Values to calculate relative success.
After doing these simple calculations they were amazed to see that it's not talent that matters the most to become successful. Team with least perceived talent can easily win. Core Values control the success of a team even if talent is important. They understood why teamwork and collaboration are so important. It's critical to leverage each other's strengths. It's extremely important to be patient and supportive just like good families do.
FLL encourages teams to work like extended families by focusing on core values. This learning is way more important than winning the competition. I am sure that these kids will be creating the most amazing robots someday but if they failed to understand how to use core values effectively, they may not have a lot of people around them to celebrate their success.
I wish all teams the very best for the next round. Have fun and spread core values by integrating those in our lifestyle.
- Discovery: We explore new skills and ideas.
- Innovation: We use creativity and persistence to solve problems.
- Impact: We apply what we learn to improve our world.
- Inclusion: We respect each other and embrace our differences.
- Teamwork: We are stronger when we work together.
- Fun: We enjoy and celebrate what we do!