Shane Snow is author of “Dream Teams: Working Together Without Falling Apart” and the bestseller, “Smartcuts.” Shane is also an award-winning journalist, celebrated entrepreneur, and co-founder of Contently.
When thinking about great teams we often think of just the best players. Shane uses the success of the Soviet Union’s 1980’s hockey team as an example and sheds light on what made them so uniquely successful. It was not the individuals that defined the success of the team, it was the collective team as a whole. Their team wasn’t about having a guy that could score a lot of points. Each player was dedicated to doing whatever they needed to do to get the hockey puck in the goal.
That 1980’s Soviet hockey team also fostered a diverse set of minds. Historically we reduce classifications to what we can see. Having a diverse team doesn’t just mean having people of a different race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. If you want a group to be smarter than its smartest member, you need a team of people who all think differently. This is where cognitive diversity is important – the best ideas often come from a round-table of minds debating. However, it can be easy to go too far when building a diverse team and end up with a group of people trying to destroy each other rather than cultivating innovative ideas.
What is the leading cause of failure in business and relationships? Communication. Combining various perspectives from people are what often adds up to one great new innovation. Looking at new angles is the only way to break new ground. Unfortunately, a lot of what we think is crazy gets shut out. Those crazy ideas are what need to be heard the most.