Creativity is a collaborative effort – tips for working better as a team

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“One of the things we biographers realize is that we distort history a little bit,” Isaacson says. “We make it sound like there’s some great individual in a garage or a garret who has a light-bulb moment and all of a sudden innovation happens. But when you look at innovation, especially in this day and age, it happens in teams — creativity is a collaborative effort in the digital age. I wanted to get away from writing about the singular individual.”

Walter Isaacson

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Teamwork. It has never been as important as it is now. How difficult is it to work as a team? It can be difficult, but if you follow a few steps and tips, it doesn’t have to be such hard work.

  • The goals are clear and everyone knows what is expected of them.
  • Team members feel comfortable – communication is open, honest, respectful and disagreement is allowed.
  • There is a sense of belonging to the group.
  • Each team member is unique and brings different skills to the table.
  • Creativity, innovation and different viewpoints are expected and should be encouraged. Saying “We already tried that and it didn’t work” or “that’s a silly idea” is not allowed.
  • The team is able to examine itself and continuously improve processes. Team norms should be openly discussed, as well as addressing areas that may be hindering its progress.
  • There are agreed processes for diagnosing, analysing and resolving team work problems.
  • High quality decisions are made together.
  • Participative leadership is practised – in meetings, task assignments, decisions and progress.

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