It took me a long time to figure this out, but in the past few years I've come to believe that a critical factor in work (and maybe life?) isn't so much brilliance, or creativity, or breadth of knowledge --- it's a kindergarten-level skill sometimes called "Plays Well With Others".

So many jobs never get finished, or go worse than they should, because of interpersonal rivalry. So many connections are never made because of parochialism and turf-consciousness. So many nascent good ideas are never brought forth because of fear that somebody else will take advantage and steal the credit.

A group made up of people who genuinely like each other, who aren't selfish, and who work together effectively --- such a group will be a lot more productive than a pseudo-team of prima donnas ... especially in the long run, and when attacking complex problems beyond the scope of any individual glory hog.

TopicLife - 2001-12-08

I theorize that a good team should work like a good jazz band, everyone should know and trust each other enough to jam together

I also theorize that, much like a good jazz band, four is best, eight is too many

I think that's true because coordination overhead becomes too expensive at eight people

--Shae Erisson

Ah yes! That brings back memories of working with Helen, David and Jason. We called ourselves the A team and it *felt* like there were eight of us. Sadly, our employer failed to appreciate our achievements and we all quit, one by one. But the memory of the experience is there, should the opportunity to be be member of an A team arise once more. -- jpsturm

(correlates: ClosedWindowRisks, ChessCrisis, WithoutLimits, ...)