The best person for the team may not be the best person for the team

The diverse team

The project managers were always fighting to get the best people in the company on their teams. Yet, often this resulted in dysfunctional teams. Why? Many of these power teams consisted of all bosses and no workers. That’s an extreme example, but it points up the importance of bringing a diversity of experience and thinking style to a team.

Sallie Krawcheck

in her blog calls diversity “The Secret to Putting Together an Insanely Successful Team.”

Paul B. Brown, on his Forbes blog, says “Great Minds Think Alike…And That Is Exactly The Problem.”

We naturally want the best people on our teams. We naturally want people who think like us. Yet, rather than bring in one more excellent team member just like the others, the team will grow with a member who asks the questions that nobody else is asking and provides insights that no one else has seen.

This is true in individual and family decision making as well. I recently ran a workshop that included the Six Thinking Hats. One of the participants later told me that it helped her understand why her husband was often so negative—he was providing the black hat perspective, the important consideration of risks and issues. She was more comfortable in the optimistic yellow hat and had been annoyed with him for shooting her down. Now she realized that they probably made better decisions as a couple because of the varied thinking styles.

What is your experience?


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