Thoughts

Teams Multiply Change.

Business

In order to do your best work, you need people around you.

Pros

  • The average group makes better decisions than the average individual
    You can think of a good idea, but feedback makes it better. It can point out flaws or take the original idea to the next level. More people mean more unique perspectives.

  • You can’t be an expert in everything
    Making decisions requires knowledge about a wide variety of topics. And, at best, you can only be an expert in a few areas. Multidisciplinary teams allow for expert opinions across departments, and having this input early on can save time by addressing potential problems before they happen.

  • Teams are commited to decisions
    When people decide together, they are more likely to feel like they made the right call. When everyone provides input and agrees upon the best action, you’ll all stick by it.

  • Teams can divide problems among members and solve them faster
    Problems that require many steps can be addressed more efficiently by a team. Each member can look into one aspect of the problem, then the team can meet and put each part together. This is a lot faster than one person investigating every aspect of a complex problem and making a decision alone.

Cons

  • Good ideas can be suppressed
    The pressure to just go along with the crowd can keep people from speaking up or pointing out problems. This is referred to by psychologists as ‘groupthinking’, or the tendency for groups to make irrational decisions in order to avoid disagreements. It defeats the entire purpose of having a team in the first place: utilising multiple perspectives. If team members don’t feel empowered to speak their mind, then a team can hurt more than it will help.

  • Opinions become more extreme
    When a group of like-minded people get together to discuss an issue, they can go from all having a very moderate opinion to sliding toward a very extreme view. This is also called ‘group polarisation’.

  • Teams are commited to decisions
    Yup. It’s both a pro and a con. Being highly committed to a decision helps in implementation, but it also keeps you from re-evaluating the decision. If new information surfaces after a decision is made, it’s easier for people to ignore that information and blindly stick to the previously agreed decision.

  • Simple tasks take longer
    When it comes to the simpler tasks, you can work much more efficiently than a team if you have the right knowledge. Necessary decisions can be made quickly without spending unnecessary time consulting with others.

How do you decide?

Consider the type of project. Is it simple or complex? Consider the potential team members. Is their expertise varied? Do they have similar opinions? Would they be comfortable speaking their mind?

In the end, it’s about knowing yourself, your strengths and your limits.

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