August 1st, 2007 @ 9:00 am
Since we were all knee-high to a whiteboard, we’ve been told that we need to work well as part of a team, that the team trumps the individual, that every leader is only as good as his team. Team team team team team. Who didn’t ride the pine in Little League so everyone could get a few minutes of playing time?
But now that we’re adults, cynics — many of us full-blown skeptics — can we really believe that this idea of team is the holy grail of productivity and success? Anyone whose days are spent trying to squeeze in work between all of their meetings can tell you that team unity can sometimes be counterproductive. And it seems that the only people who get anything out of you and your officemates catching a backward-falling coworker is the consulting company that charged $5,000 to show you how to do it.
So just as we adults have learned that you can, in fact, drink too much milk or water, we also must question the grade-school wisdom we’ve always assumed to be true about teamwork.
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