Thursday, November 02, 2006

team player

"The popularity of brainstorming results in part from corporate America's knee-jerk faith in teams. In fact, the father of brainstorming, advertising executive Alex Osborn, advocated using people to storm a corporate problem "in commando fashion." And let yourself be labeled a "nonteam player," and you might as well start your own one-person consultancy. But teams aren't necessarily so great. "There are so many things people do in management because they think it's good, but there's no evidence for it," says Paul B. Paulus, a professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Arlington. "Teamwork is one example. Brainstorming is another." Prof. Paulus conducted research on the number and quality of ideas of four people brainstorming together versus four people brainstorming by themselves. Typically, group brainstormers perform at about half the level they would if they brainstormed alone."

OH MY GOD. Where WERE these guys when I was in University? To this day, I would rather shovel every driveway in this town with a teaspoon than work in an arbitrarily assigned group - there is absolutely nothing more frustrating. Don't get me wrong, every project should ultimately benefit from the input/criticism of multiple voices, and some of the best ideas I've ever had have been made into something MUCH greater than my original thoughts as a result of group input, but there's truly nothing worse than a forced brainstorming session.

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