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Small teams innovate while larger teams legislate

June 18, 2015

Teams expert, best-selling author, and long-time Global Institute for Leadership Development® faculty member Patrick Lencioni has literally written the book on teams. So, when he noticed his own 10-person team was taking too long to make decisions and generate new ideas, guess who came up with the solution?

“A friend of mine grew up on a family farm where he and his cousins would often help their grandfather with weekend projects. But whenever all three cousins wanted to work together, the grand­father would protest: “One boy is a boy, two boys is half a boy, and three boys ain’t no boy at all,” he writes in a recent issue of Inc. magazine.

“This wasn’t so much a criticism of teamwork as a commentary on the behavior of male adolescents. Still, there’s an important lesson in his logic: Adding more people to a project does not necessarily make it better. And when it comes to creative problem solving, more people often does just the opposite.

“I was reminded of this recently in my company. Our headquarters has a staff of 10, and most of us have worked together for more than a decade. But a few months ago, we noticed that it was taking us far too long to make decisions, to respond to challenges, and to come up with new ideas during our meetings, which usually included everyone.”

Continue reading.

Throwing more people at a problem is often a problem. But as you can see, there are other ways to innovate. Share your thoughts about effective teamwork with us below.

And click here to learn more about teams and innovation from Patrick in person at GILD® in October.



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