Does teamwork stifle innovation?

May 13, 2010 at 6:44 pm Leave a comment

from “How Group Dynamics May Be Killing Innovation” Knowledge@Wharton

To come up with the next iPad, Amazon or Facebook, the last thing potential innovators need is a group brainstorm session. What the pacesetters of the future really require, according to new Wharton research, is some time alone.

In a paper titled, “Idea Generation and the Quality of the Best Idea (PDF),” Wharton operations and information management professors Christian Terwiesch and Karl Ulrich argue that group dynamics are the enemy of businesses trying to develop one-of-a-kind new products, unique ways to save money or distinctive marketing strategies.

Terwiesch, Ulrich and co-author Karan Girotra, a professor of technology and operations management at INSEAD, found that a hybrid process — in which people are given time to brainstorm on their own before discussing ideas with their peers — resulted in more and better quality ideas than a purely team-oriented process. More importantly for companies striving for innovation, however, the trio says the absolute best idea in a hybrid process topped the Number One suggestion in a traditional model.

Continue reading on Knowledge@Wharton.

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Entry filed under: CEO coach, key executive coach, strategic planning.

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