The Rise of the New Groupthink

From the Times,

Most of us now work in teams, in offices without walls, for managers who prize people skills above all. Lone geniuses are out. Collaboration is in. But there’s a problem with this view. Research strongly suggests that people are more creative when they enjoy privacy and freedom from interruption. And the most spectacularly creative people in many fields are often introverted, according to studies by the psychologists Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Gregory Feist.

Now I know why my productivity is declining…

I think both solitude and collaboration have their place.

For instance, when I hold brainstorming sessions for a particular product opportunity, I ask people to spend 10-30 minutes on their own drumming up ideas, because ideas come faster and in greater quantity when we work alone, but the value of building on the ideas of others is invaluable.

"Creativity comes from a blend of individual and collective ideation.‘’

Lately, I’ve been trying to organize a little of both. Brainstorm on my own, then organize a brainstorm with others where we can build on some ideas and knock others down. Give out tasks to everyone to brainstorm on their little expertise, then return and repeat.

I’m the only designer on my team, so trying to brainstorm the shape of an enclosure with an engineer and a salesperson is pointless.

This could almost be put with the Intoverts/Extroverts topic. I think I’ll have to go off on this subject tommorrow. It’s somehow come up in the book I’m reading, work, and multiple times now on Core. wierd.

Some of us had a good conversation at work about this article the other day.

As you could guess, I’m an extrovert. I love talking and working with people, and directing the team, establishing the overall direction, etcetera… BUT, I’m also a do’er, not just a talker, and if I don’t get some solitary heads down time to get things done and get a little hands on, I start to feel off and unfulfilled, then I start to loose my momentum and question everything, then I get just generally grumpy :wink: So, I have had to learn when to get solitary and to clearly communicate that. I’ve also learned to sense when individual team members start to get crispy in the group and I break off something meaningful to tackle on their own and bring back when it is ready to be looked at. I try to be clear with the team when we are in a moment that requires intense heads down time, and when we need to pull out of that to discuss and mull as a team. It is really tricky, there is no one right way to do things. The group dynamic is always in flux and change is the only constant.