J. Richard Hackman

I have no question that when you have a team, the possibility exists that it will generate magic, producing something extraordinary, a collective creation of previously unimagined quality or beauty. But don’t count on it. Research consistently shows that teams underperform, despite all the extra resources they have. That’s because problems with coordination and motivation typically chip away at the benefits of collaboration. And even … [ Read more ]

J. Richard Hackman

People generally think that teams that work together harmoniously are better and more productive than teams that don’t. But in a study we conducted on symphonies, we actually found that grumpy orchestras played together slightly better than orchestras in which all the musicians were really quite happy.

That’s because the cause-and-effect is the reverse of what most people believe: When we’re productive and we’ve done something … [ Read more ]

J. Richard Hackman

…the things that happen the first time a group meets strongly affect how the group operates throughout its entire life. Indeed, the first few minutes of the start of any social system are the most important because they establish not only where the group is going but also what the relationship will be between the team leader and the group, and what basic norms of … [ Read more ]

J. Richard Hackman

Many people act as if being a team player is the ultimate measure of one’s worth, which it clearly is not. There are many things individuals can do better on their own, and they should not be penalized for it. The challenge for a leader, then, is to find a balance between individual autonomy and collective action. Either extreme is bad, though we are generally … [ Read more ]

New Rules For Team Building

New research disproves some long-held assumptions about what works best when it comes to teamwork.