Everyone knows that increased productivity is one of the benefits of team building. Now, there’s evidence that innovation is yet another reason to work in teams.
A new study from the London School of Economics and Harvard questions the notion that brilliance comes from just a few ultra-talented minds. Their study suggests that the greatest new ideas come from the collective efforts of many minds working together…in other words: teams
Great ideas are born collectively.
The LSE/Harvard study makes us question the idea that brilliance comes from the efforts of one single genius mind Innovation, in other words, doesn’t always spring from a vacuum, but rather a rich environment of ideas, cultural stimuli, diverse opinions, and environmental factors.
So, for people looking to boost their creativity, surrounding themselves with other people’s ideas would be a smart move. That way they’re experiencing the full benefits of team building. The more opportunity there is for interaction and even a ‘collision’ of ideas, the better. One of the authors of the study goes so far to say that the best thing is to talk to people who have diverse opinions and ideas.
Fostering diversity…that’s what teamwork is all about, actually!
In our workshops, one of the primary goals is always to create an environment where everyone is sharing their thoughts and ideas. The sense that no contribution is too small or ‘wrong’ is key for us, and we always hope to pass that sensibility along, no matter which team building workshop we’re involved with that day.
But we don’t stop there. Getting everyone to contribute is only the first step. Next, teams have to realize that diverse opinions are to be valued. In workshops such as The Big Picture, for example, teams learn that the project can’t be completed unless everyone contributes his or her own unique talent to the final product.
To get the full benefits of team building, foster the right environment.
One of the ways that leaders can encourage teamwork (and hence innovation) is to make sure the environment is supportive of the process of working collectively. That means having an action plan for failure that allows for quick recovery and small consequences.
When teams are afraid to fail, their creativity is stifled. Encouraging experimentation means encouraging failures as well, since the two inevitably come hand in hand. Doing so may seem counter-intuitive at first, but it’s how you’re able to capture one of the many benefits of team building.