Six Surprising Truths about Teamwork

by Harvard Business Review

We all know teamwork is critical to accomplishing large goals quickly, but when it comes to knowing what makes teams work we’ve often got the wrong idea.

In a guest post for the HBR Blog Network, Harvard professor and teams expert J. Richard Hackman provides six examples of how popular conceptions about teamwork are in fact leading us astray – and negatively impacting productivity in the process. The first misconception he highlights is the emphasis we put on building harmonious teams. After all, less debate equals more efficiency, correct? “Quite the opposite, research shows,” writes Hackman. “Conflict, when well managed and focused on a team’s objectives, can generate more creative solutions than one sees in conflict-free groups. So long as it is about the work itself, disagreements can be good for a team.”

Other misconceptions Hackman takes on include the assumption that it’s always good to inject energy and fresh ideas into a team by introducing new members, the notion that face-to-face interaction is no longer necessary, and the idea that success or failure rides heavily on the team’s leader. To find out more about how the best teamwork actually works in different ways than we usually think, read Hackman’s full post here.

Related Content from OpenView:

In order to foster teamwork for your product development groups, you’ll need to keep your employees happy, engaged, and loyal. You’ll find tips on how to accomplish that in this post. Read this post from the OpenView Blog for tips on how to identify communication breakdowns across your business teams and mend them.