A recent survey found that 91 percent of high-level managers believe teams are the key to success. But the evidence doesn’t always support this assertion.
In her April 2012 article in the Harvard Business Review article, “Coming Through When It Matters Most.”, Professor Heidi K. Gardner notes there are insidious disadvantages to teamwork.
“Just when teams most need to draw on the full range of their members’ knowledge to produce the high-quality, uniquely suitable outcomes they started out to deliver, they instead begin to revert to the tried and true,” she writes.
Under pressure, teams gravitate toward safe ground. While most start out highly engaged, inviting input from everyone, members become risk-averse as they push toward project completion. They maneuver toward consensus in a way that blocks paths to critical information.
What has been your experience with teams?