Smart Teams

February 19, 2015 Leave a comment

Appreciating our colleague, Maureen White, for bringing our attention to recent research on smart teams. She highlighted a couple of things when she shared the articles, and I thought it important to share them with you.

The smartest teams were distinguished by three characteristics:

  1. Their members contributed more equally to the team’s discussions, rather than letting one or two people dominate the group.
  2. Their members scored higher on a test called Reading the Mind in the Eyes, which measures how well people can read complex emotional states from images of faces with only the eyes visible.
  3. Teams with more women outperformed teams with more men. Indeed, it appeared that it was not “diversity” (having equal numbers of men and women) that mattered for a team’s intelligence, but simply having more women.

Darth Vadar tells Princess Leigha to make a sandwich.

Maureen noted and I agree that the first point makes a strong argument for good facilitation (as well as for more conscious team members). She also noted the importance of the third point, the importance of having more women on a team.

This third point made me think about the ways patriarchy and the industrial model, which is inherently patriarchal, have wreaked havoc on collaboration. The exclusion of women is the most obvious. But a boy world in which masculine energies compete to dominate seems to be behind the first point. A culture that de-emphasizes emotion, intuition and empathy also smells like patriarchy to me, and we see its effects behind point number 2.

Everything has changed forever. True inclusion and a stance against patriarchy now prove to be the smartest option.

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