Working in Community: How to Unlock Your Team’s Synergy and Creativity

Whether you’re working on a side hustle or a 9 to 5, you likely rely on teamwork in some capacity to get the job done. Let’s face it: nothing great is ever the product of just one person.

For decades, people and businesses have subscribed to the idea that a group of hard-working creators can add up to more than the sum of its parts. The trouble is, that’s usually not what happens.

Sometimes we struggle to get all our work done or to come up with the creative solutions we need, and it can feel like we need more people to help us out. And perhaps what’s even more essential is our longing to create with or among others and be part of a team that jives. But researchers have found that groups of people who sit in a room together to brainstorm and “feed off of each other’s ideas” almost always come up with fewer good ideas—and fewer ideas overall—than the same people will come up with on their own.

(Finding team synergy is the topic we plan to explore in my upcoming CreativeLive classes, ‘Creating and Leading Incredible Teams’ and ‘Become an Indispensable Creative Collaborator’ — click below to learn more!).

Creating and Leading Incredible Teams

Please join us! Thursday, May 31, 8AM to 4PM. Apply to join our live studio audience or RSVP to view our free live broadcast.

And yet. Every once in a while, we observe in history—and sometimes in our own lives—an anomaly.

Sometimes groups of people seem to unlock magic together. Sometimes human beings really do come together and become greater than the sum of their parts. These are the moments we celebrate—when we make creative breakthroughs together. We need other people to accomplish something truly important. It takes a team to train an Olympian, households to form a community and a gosh-darn village to raise a child.

Since the birth of social psychology, people have made observations about teamwork and arrived at the wrong conclusions about what makes groups of people smarter together. It’s time to flip over old assumptions and relearn what it means to create good teamwork.

New research in psychology, neuroscience and human behavior I explore in my new book Dream Teams tells us exactly what creates positive teamwork. These tactics can be employed to unlock the potential of individual team members and help create a cohesive environment to really make an entire team sing. From the two-step “casting” method, to culture and leadership changes, there is truly an art and science to working in community.

Become an Indispensable Creative Collaborator

Please join us! Friday, June 1, 8AM to 4PM. Apply to join our live studio audience or RSVP to view our free live broadcast.

We hope you’ll join us… and that the synergy will be palpable.

Shane Snow is a bestselling author, correspondent for Wired and GQ, and founder of Contently. His new book, Dream Teams (Penguin, June 2018, with afterword by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant), dropping next month, will change the way you think about teamwork, progress, and the future.