Which myths about team work do you hold?

In a recent publication Leigh Thompson highlights 4 common team creativity myths well-meaning leaders hold. These are:

  • Get rid of rules (e.g. first break all the rules);
  • Focus on quality, not quantity;
  • Spend as much time together as possible; and
  • Put self-interest aside and be more team-oriented.

Research shows that teams with instructions and rules perform significantly better, a focus on quantity improves innovation (and quality), teams spending less time together have a higher performance, and teams with pro-self people are more creative.

Here are some of the “new” best practices provided:

  • be a rule monger (have very clear rules to guide the team process) – in our team workouts we use a very easy but clear team discussion process;
  • establish a clear goal for the team;
  • use different team constellations (teams with changed membership have spikes in creativity);
  • use a facilitator (teams with a facilitator – who applies the rules – always outperforms teams without);
  • engage in forms of advance ideation (such as brainwriting);
  • get picky, but only after ideas are generated ;
  • stay positive and energised (people in positive moods are more creative than those in negative moods);
  • get defiant and debate (turns out if you do get mad – for the sake of creativity you should be snarky and sarcastic rather than mean and angry 🙂 )

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