I’ve been reading about the importance of collaboration and making teams work. Organisation design is part of what I enjoy about doing service and business design; and thought I’d share some learnings.
Ed Catmull, founder of Pixar, and author of the amazing book Creativity Inc. that getting the right people and the right chemistry is more important that getting the right idea in a creative environment, and furthermore getting the team right, creates more chances of finding the right ideas.
Having studied at Hyper Island, a world-leading educator in the fields of digital and interactive communication and business transformation, not only have I discovered an intrinsic passion for experience design, but I strongly believe in one of their philosophies that ‘Team is Everything‘. Without the ability to work together then great ideas never get made and the world and creativity stagnate.
Team = how the magic really happens!
Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO, suggested that an essential component to design thinking and creative innovation is the collaboration of teams of T-shaped people.
“T-shaped people have two kinds of characteristics, hence the use of the letter “T” to describe them. The vertical stroke of the “T” is a depth of skill that allows them to contribute to the creative process […] The horizontal stroke of the “T” is the disposition for collaboration across disciplines […] T-shaped people have both depth and breadth in their skills.”
He says T-shape’s are characterised as empathetic, collaborative and enjoy working with other people — key elements to working in a creative environment. This doesn’t mean you have to be an extrovert, just guided by the ability to share, actively listen and empathise with others in order to collaborate, learn and ultimately innovate successfully.
Building a potent mix of depth and interdisciplinary skills is important as it contributes to finding solutions and opportunities to difficult problems. So whilst strategies matter, I believe the prime source of competitive advantage consists of people.