We're facilitating many of our client projects remotely at the moment. Learn more about our expertise in this area.

Team harmony vs goal harmony


Interesting quotes from Team Sky boss Dave Brailsford on the prospect of Bradley Wiggins being part of the same team as Tour de France winner Chris Froome:

“I don’t spend a nanosecond worrying whether they get on. People talk about having team unity and team harmony. I don’t buy that at all. Most of the best teams I’ve been with, they’re not harmonious environments. This is not a harmonious environment. This is a gritty environment where people are pushing really hard. What you need is goal harmony, and there’s a big difference between the two.”

We often assume that the best teams are those that get on. But of course that’s not always the case, and nor should it be. The challenge for the creative leader is to manage these tensions (and sometimes even introduce them) to get the best results.

This reminds me of a well-known research paper by Charlan Nemeth: The liberating role of conflict in group creativity. Nemeth’s research is interesting in light of the fact that the instruction ‘Do not criticize’ is often cited as the important instruction in brainstorming. It shows that criticism and creative abrasion can have significant effects on the quality of ideas generated.

“The encouragement of debate—and even criticism if warranted—appears to stimulate more creative ideas. And cultures that permit and even encourage such expression of differing viewpoints may stimulate the most innovation.”

We cover this and more in our Collaborate training sessions.

Photo credit: BenBradshaw

You may also like…

Using Scenario Planning to think about the future

Using Scenario Planning to think about the future

Because of the sheer variety of ingredients involved, there isn’t one defined future that is set in stone and that will apply to everyone in exactly the same way. Use an approach like Scenario Planning to consider alternative futures.

How we run remote workshops using MURAL

How we run remote workshops using MURAL

Collaborating online gets less attention than straightforward video conferencing but it’s where the action is. Here’s how we use one of the most popular whiteboard apps in our meetings and workshops.