Today’s guest contributor is Whitney Johnson, author of Disrupt Yourself: Putting the Power of Disruptive Innovation to Work, and Dare, Dream, Do. Additionally, she is a frequent contributor to the Harvard Business Review. Learn more about Whitney at her website or connect with her on Twitter.
Last week I arrived home from work to see my 8th grade son toiling away on a science fair project with his classmate Marc. As I observed their breezy back-and-forth, one at the computer, the other laying out the poster board, both fully engaged, no ego involved, I found myself taken back. In part, because as a parent, I’m always a little surprised when children do their homework without parental micro-management, but also because these two 8th graders made collaboration look like child’s play.
And yet that’s not always our experience in the office. Rather than the free-wheeling interchange of ideas and labor we anticipate — we’re grown-ups after all — working together is typically everything but easy.
Why is teamwork so difficult? (more…)