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Posts Tagged ‘Team’

Do teams always outperform individuals?  If not, when to individuals excel over teams?  As a general rule, I’d say teams work best when there is more to do than one person can handle, there is enough time to work on team formation and team work, collaboration will produce a better outcome and there is a need for a wide range of skills and talents.  On the other hand individuals work best when time is critical, you require unique talent or require superior individual performance.

Let’s take the example of something as simple as a tug of war.  On one side you have a team of three who have practiced together and now work well together.  One the other side, you have the world’s strongest man acting alone.  Guess who wins?

How about something creative?  If you have a team of successful novelists together writing a book, do you get a better product than if a single author wrote the book?  For the answer check out the audio book, “The Chopin Manuscript.”  This is a collaboration of great mystery writers.  It’s nothing special.  I don’t think team Rembrandt would have improved things.

As a general rule, when you need teamwork use a team, when you need individual excellence use an individual.

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.Gene Simmons Interview 

Gene Simmons Interview,
originally uploaded by BAMCAT.

Maybe I need to stop watching celebrity apprentice but it brought to mind an age old agrument about the value of talent versus the value of team. (While there is no “I” in team, there is “Me” and “Meat.”

Okay, so here’s the point. In the last episode, the two teams had to make a commercial. One team did the typical team brainstorming and trying to work as a team. The other team was taken over by Gene Simmons and Steven Baldwin who convinced the others that they had 20 years experience in the field and that the others should go back to the room and relax. Guess what? Talent won over team.

Companies often use golf and a scamble format to show how four people working together can accomplish great things. But how would any scamble team ever put together do against Tiger Woods if you let him have the same number of tries? (Your team of 4 versus Tiger with 4 balls.)

In basketball where they try to match up talent in various positions, how would a typical team do against 5 Michael Jordans in his prime?

While there is synergy in teamwork, I think we sometimes miss the boat when we don’t see the power in the individual.

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