Comment on “Smart Innovators Value Smaller Teams Over Better Processes”

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https://hbr.org/2011/12/quiet-but-unsubtle-innovation.html.

Read the HBR article by Michael Schrage

Quiet but unsubtle innovation insurgencies are emerging in global enterprise. Instead of investing more in innovation process or cultural transformation, I’m observing more large organizations giving greater resources and responsibilities to ever-smaller teams.

Innovation initiatives that were once handled by dozens a decade ago are now run by only handfuls. The median size of the core innovation group has dropped from a football/soccer eleven to a basketball five. Less apparently enables more.

https://hbr.org/2011/12/quiet-but-unsubtle-innovation.html.

After you have read the article, https://hbr.org/2011/12/quiet-but-unsubtle-innovation.html. post a 200-comment reaction in the comments section below

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32 Responses

  1. Ally Fink says:

    The Lockheed Martin Skunk Works is an example of large organizations investing more in small teams over innovation processes. The idea is to give greater resources and responsibilities to a small team to keep the people count small rather than growing the team. Keeping teams small is possible due to innovative technology measures such as using digital and social media to extend their reach. Small teams have the ability to scale influence and deliverables in order to grow in power and influence – which is very different compared to the mindset of successfully scaling the number of people on teams. Having a smaller team allows for better communication flow and team connectivity. More benefits that come with working within a small team is enhanced collaboration, trust, quicker coordination, and efficiency. The Skunk Works method works because the organization is placing more responsibility of smaller teams rather than trying to quickly grow and expand the team. Additionally, taking advantage of innovative technology reduces the need to add more people to a team, therefore a team can remain small and intimate. Even though the article did not mention this, I’m sure the team acted more efficiently and effectively because of the small team dynamic of enhanced communication and trust.

  2. Alba Segura-Cruz says:

    The article discusses specific changes that have occurred, from large organizations having responsibilities, to now smaller teams taking up those same responsibilities. One thing that stood out to me in particular was when the article stated, “They work very hard to stay very small.” This stood out to me because it reveals that organizations may be turning down amazing individuals that may help the organization grow, for simply trying to stay small. The article also made me think of why initiatives that were handled by a dozen of people are now only a handful. This may be due to the fact that technology continues to advance. For instance, the machinery used in the production of products practically gets rid of the assembly line and how individuals use to hand make the products. If this is the case, then it makes sense as to why teams are now smaller than before. However, the article made me think if with more people, the organization can be more efficient, or if they are more efficient with fewer people. I have been put in situations where it is difficult to accomplish a task when there are about ten people working on the same thing, whereas it is easier when only three people are working on it. This is something that every organization should take into consideration.

  3. Sam Staples says:

    While many see leadership and followership differently, the truth is both rely on one another. It’s no secret that organizations have placed an emphasis on the importance of teams during the turn of the century. The truth is that while teamwork is popular, few organizations can create teams that are effective. Schrage explains that when there are too many people on one team, the team over-powers the task that the team was originally assembled for. In smaller teams shared leadership, where leadership is viewed as a role assigned to every team member, derives. Essentially, employees lead one another. However, more than just a small number of people are needed to foster productivity in teams. It is the job of each member of the team to hone their skills in transformational leadership, where specific types of behaviors engage followers, and in managerial leadership, activity that helps guide the production as well as the well-being of employees to support the current objectives of the team. Together, these forms of leadership create a stable, micro-focused environment increasing productivity. As an emphasis on teams continues to grow, it’s important that companies do not lose the ultimate purpose of teams: to find solutions for the company’s overall success.

  4. Sophie Maccarone says:

    The Lockheed Martin Works works because a smaller group of people works more efficiently than a larger group. In today’s world, larger companies are becoming too big and complex that they need to give more responsibilities to groups that are further down in the chain. When the managers and employees of high status have less to worry about, then it enables them to do more. If there is a huge project that needs to be done and the team asks more people to come and help them finish it faster, it may not get done as fast as the people currently working on it. Bringing more people into the equation wastes time for explanation and sometimes different ideas and opinions that are not needed at that stage of the project. Overall, fewer people are more. More work can get done in smaller groups and by going small, a company can grow. As technology and innovation advance, it minimizes the need for more people and allows there to be small groups with more responsibility. As technology advances, fewer people are more successful and better quality work for the future.

  5. Kelli Rasmussen says:

    In this article, it discusses the differences in large teams vs small teams. The whole point of the article is to decide whether your large organization needs a smaller team or a larger team to complete the task given to them. With the new technology and different innovative resources that companies are gaining, they have tended to need less people in their teams. The phrase “smaller is beautiful” really stood out to me. There is a common understanding that smaller teams tend to have an easier time with cohesion and getting the job done due to not having to worry about cramming a bunch of different types of people for one project. However, if a team is too small it can become a lot on individuals and can cause stress and tension. There needs to be a balance of a happy medium; where the team is not too large but not too small either. For the organization to be efficient, it needs to analyze the the tasks and decide what will work best for the company and individuals. The term “slow growth” also caught my attention because I feel like organizations tend to want to quickly grow and get to their end goal quickly. Slow growth allows for more opportunities and a stronger cohesion to form. It also could allow for innovation to grow progressively along with the team. It refers back to the famous term, “slow and steady” or the story where the tortoise beats the hare in the race. With less people, the opportunity for growth, strength, and efficiency are possible.

  6. Fernando Guerrero says:

    This article states how large organizations are giving greater responsibilities to smaller teams. Innovation initiatives in this big corporations are being handled by a smaller team, rather than a working team of dozens. Smaller teams allow for greater accountability, autonomy, and flexibility. The logic of small team collaboration is that the fewer people working together, the less bureaucracy gets in the way. So, there is overall more efficiency. when working on a small team rather than a larger one.

  7. Joe Hickey says:

    The Lockheed Martin SkunkWorks works because when an organization becomes more innovative it requires more people and this means the team sizes begin to grow which is generally a bad thing, so SkunkWorks combats this by keeping teams small so that they can work to complete tasks bigger then themselves rather than a large team of people working on completing something that does not necessarily require all of that attention. The article then goes on to mention the difference in slow and fast growth and how they mean the opposite of what you would expect. They mention that the slow growth of small teams is usually much more valuable than fast growth of a larger team and typically indicates that something is wrong or should be altered for more valuable results. While not everyone has adopted this strategy some corporations agree with this “lean and mean” mentality which has since been developing and proven to deliver small teams that are still incredibly powerful and incredibly innovative. Another advantage to keeping teams small is it makes learning and applying new things easier since the smaller groups tend to become closer and develop stronger bonds with one another compared to a larger team.

  8. Claire O'Brien says:

    The “Smaller is beautiful” innovation was created by Kelly Johnson and is an example of how smaller groups are being invested by larger companies because it is better than the innovation processes. We learn from Michael Schrage that less is more and that is a common trend being shown today. For example, he mentions how Zuckerberg is big on the use of small teams and Google encourages individuals and smaller groups to innovate hard and fast for top management. However, the question that rise is are going small to get big is the right idea? Or in other words, would teams work better in a smaller or bigger setting? Well, I think that is what the debate is about in this article. Advantages of keeping small groups are communication is easier and working together, as long as you build an effective team, can be easier in order to build a “lean and mean” performance. However, some disadvantages that can arise in group work can be a conflict between team members and it can be time-consuming, especially for smaller groups. Overall, it depends on who you hire, if they were right for the job, and the resources provided for these individuals. Being successful in these two areas could create an agile team to create impressive results.

  9. Pablo Sicilia says:

    This article clearly showed us that there is not always a need for a large group over a small concise team. With technology and innovation even larger companies have started to move back to smaller teams, but why is that? I believe smaller teams mean more accountability from each team player, responsibility is managed differently as efficiency will be much better as if there are fewer people in a process the faster a thing can get done. It is really important that before analyzing which team size will fit you best that, the business analyzes the tasks and the processes to accurately identify and assign the team to its former tasks.

  10. Joe Lazzari says:

    As I have seen in the workplace, smaller teams can be a lot more efficient simply because of their agility and flexibility when solving a problem. The article brings up great points on why this philosophy is growing, especially in the tech sector. You hear all the time that you need to cut the fat off of a business, but in this case, it works when working in smaller groups. This allows a better understanding of team weaknesses and strengths. This allows the team to make themselves much more efficient while working together. If teams put people in smaller groups, allow them to collectively put their ideas together, put them in positions to succeed, and so on. This article emphasizes innovation and while smaller teams will grow as large corporations continue to use them, we will see if the smaller player will join their lead.
    In my experience, working with smaller teams can be much more effective than larger ones just because sometimes you need to prioritize other people’s thoughts and ideas over someone else’s, this way in a smaller team there is less of a headache when trying to prioritize and collaborate on projects.

  11. David Doyle says:

    Skunkworks is successful because they have adopted Coco’s Chanel adage of “elegance is refusal”. By keeping their teams small, the organization can remain agile and effective without sacrificing brainpower. There is a common understanding that smaller teams tend to work better together because they are able to coordinate their efforts much more effectively. More benefits that come with working within a small team is enhanced collaboration, trust, quicker coordination, and efficiency. The methods used at Skunkworks work because the organization is placing more responsibility of smaller teams rather than trying to quickly grow and expand the team. The lean mentality is slowly taking root in corporate America because they have seen the success of the nimble Skunkworks groups that can effectively incubate and execute projects, leading to overall success for Lockheed Martin.

  12. Marcus Uptmor says:

    The Lockheed Martin SkunkWorks works because unlike larger groups, smaller teams work more efficiently. In the modern-day workplace, larger companies are getting too big that they need to give more tasks and responsibilities to teams that are lower in the business chain. When higher-ups like managers have less work to do and fewer things to worry about, it makes them want to do more. Bringing in more people to complete a project takes longer than it should have because employees have to explain to everyone in the group how it needs to be done and different opinions and ideas could be brought up during the project’s completion. In simple terms, the fewer people working on the project, the better. By going small, teams can complete projects faster and companies could potentially increase in size. With the advancements in technology, the need for more people on a project is minimized and small groups are given more responsibilities, making them more successful and they give better quality work for the future of the companies.

  13. Michael McShea says:

    This article does a great job of highlighting the differences in the effectiveness of large vs. small teams. The writer, Michael Schrage, challenges organizations to look inwards on their team sizes and determine if they can successfully scale the team’s influence and deliverables. He states that as more innovative technology is integrated into the workplace, the need to add people onto a team decreases. Schrage also believes that a key indicator of performance is slow growth, as a fast-growing innovation team means either the wrong people were hired or that the wrong challenge was picked. Initially, I disagreed with this since typically organizations want to grow as fast as possible in all directions. However, I now believe that with the right people in a smaller team is more effective than a bigger one of dysfunctional people. With a smaller team, trust and cohesion are increasingly higher and team dynamics are overall better. He states that small teams are growing in innovation, power, and influence. This article has clearly opened my eyes and I think a lot of corporate America needs to read this and reevaluate their team’s performance as a lot of teams could do much, much more with fewer folks.

  14. Caroline Darnell says:

    The article describing how small teams are more efficient sheds light on why Skunk Works at Lockheed Martin works. More industries around the world are finding that smaller teams create more efficiency at a greater profit than large teams. There are a few reasons for this new phenomenon. With fewer team members comes more responsibility and delegation to each teammate. When each individual is assigned various tasks within a small team they are more motivated to complete them, as each other is aware and depending on it. In a larger team, on the other hand, it can be easy to hide away from your responsibilities, slowing work down and diminishing the idea of individual contributions. Additionally, in smaller teams, opportunities for a cohesive bond are more abundant compared to larger teams that enable alliances and divide. If a small team were to fail cohesively, it would become apparent immediately. However, tension thrives in larger teams that are able to continue to rely on key members to keep minimal peace. In this way, small teams get things done faster, as more responsibility is put on both the relationships and tasks of each member.

  15. Justin Pryor says:

    Innovation, idea sharing, and actually getting to the core of the problem and the solution, are far easier in smaller teams, which is why the Lockheed Martin SkunkWorks method works so well. With the boom of technology, teams are able to communicate faster amongst one another with more flexibility and resources at their disposal to achieve the problem quickly. By creating smaller teams with smarter individuals, those individuals are allowed to express their ideas and collaborate more effectively as they do not have to seek the approval of everyone on a massive team. I have seen this principle work simply in school. In a larger lecture size class, there is very little idea sharing and innovation, however, when individuals within the larger class are split up into groups of three, ideas flow rapidly and there is a plethora of information and perspective being shared amongst the class. The key in this model of work, however, is making sure the teams are built with the right people. Everyone within the group must be deeply knowledgeable of the topic so he or she is able to speak about it eloquently without any additional explaining needing to partake. Then, the group can discuss their individual ideas on the manner, which in turn creates the strong innovation that has been seen in successful businesses.

  16. Julia Koppisch says:

    Michael Schrage wrote, “instead of investing more in innovation process or cultural transformation… more large organizations give greater resources and responsibilities to even-smaller teams.” As a result, this has halted organizations’ innovation, power and influence through larger teams. Large organizations have shifted its responsibilities down the totem pole. While it is important to free up managers’ time, the organizational structure of the company needs to be efficiently smooth. The lack of resources and the addition of new team members do not effectively contribute to innovation. Technology cannot replace the lack of resources. As the team grows, organizational behavior becomes more complex than necessary. Since teams rely on one another to achieve their common goals, bigger teams tend to overshadow the common goals with irrelevant tasks. Bigger teams halt the innovation. Hence, smaller teams are more effective to influence and power. However, it is important to have multiple smaller teams, rather than one big team. Management should not place an immense amount of pressure on one small team. It is unrealistic to assume that one small team can handle the pressure and the workload. Smaller teams create a tight knit connection to one another, which prevents issues from arising.

  17. Based on the article and fellow students’ comments, the concept of small teams and the methods between the members of Skunkworks and its practices, a smaller team works far more efficiently with the material at hand. Because Skunkworks deals with top secret material, it makes sense that not only are the teams created small, but that it is encouraged to remain small, in order to protect what’s being created, as well as encourage loyalty to both each other in the team, as well as a desire to keep the company intact. On the topic of operating top-secret clearance and material, a larger group could ensure that we produce far quicker, but in the event that a individual or individuals go rouge, it results in more loose ends that the company would need to clean up. Loyalty would be harder to maintain as well amongst a larger group because in the event mentioned above, everyone would have a high sense of distrust amongst each other, due to the actions of few. Plus the larger the group, the harder for individuals to feel united to each other in the beginning, as the lack of close relationships is practically non existent.

  18. Molly Krzywicki says:

    The article emphasized the entrance of “lean and mean” teams in the organizational workplace. While it was outwardly said that companies are not purposefully cutting down the sizes of their teams, it is still becoming much more prevalent today, which seems to be the opposite of what would be expected. These powerhouse companies are usually seen with an arsenal of huge units that pump out work, but now we are seeing managers posed with the question “How can we scale the team’s influence and deliverables?” Without this focus, the author points out that it is incredibly easy for these silos of teams to relentlessly scale upward. More and more, companies are seeing the benefit of smaller teams that assure faster velocity and agility in the innovation and decision-making process. At the same time, this innovative process must be subservient to small teams rather than small teams be submissive to the process. If the process is not right for the objective, it is still important to evaluate which kind of team, small or large, is the most fitting- this is not an end all be all decision and should be taken in stride. The slow growth and transition to smaller teams allow the company to adapt and learn alongside each other, creating a long-lasting relationship on all fronts.

  19. Thomas Consoli says:

    A saying that I believe is a perfect way to sum this ideology up is “less is more.” For many years different companies and organizations have felt that the more people working together the better the results will be. While this practice may have worked many years ago, I believe that with the help of technology it has allowed big groups to be cut in half. With having smaller groups, it allows a large group of people to be given a task that is much smaller allowing many more tasks to be done on an everyday basis. The reason why I believe Lockheed Martin skunk works is by realizing niches and micro focusing will truly create better outcomes in the future. As time goes on and the business world changes it will be interesting to see what new ideologies are created and what companies will follow it.

  20. Aidan Clemente says:

    This article discusses the idea that smaller groups are in fact better at helping organizations innovate. This idea that small groups work directly aligns with Lockheed Martin’s SkunkWorks, which does work. When it comes to SkunkWorks, or small groups for that matter, it provides for a stronger, more fluid innovation process. In times where people may want to bring in as much talent as possible, it may be more beneficial to have a small group of thinkers tasked with creating something new, or building upon ideas. The misconception that more people will provide faster, and stronger remotes leads organizations to overhaul employees for a project, is actually detrimental to the innovation process. When there are so many people working together with strong abilities and mindsets, they may fail to succeed in the mission in the way they should. Smaller groups provide for open thinking, but a more narrow mind set on the mission. This way they can complete tasks on a steady incline, and continue to build off of each other’s work.

  21. Trey Carson says:

    The LockheedMartin SkunkWorks works because they use the theory that smaller groups work better. This is because communication is more efficient and allows for the group to be more active in collaboration. Previously there was too much communication but now with smaller teams, management is able to delegate and trust the smaller teams, then they bring the information to you. The article makes it important to note that, it’s not just that people are working in smaller groups, but a goal must be measured for their success and they have to have the right people in the group as well. This is a big focus of what makes SkunkWorks so important, but also because this innovation is possible with the right people. Smaller groups have everyone pulling their own weight and allow for each member to take control of their own specific task while contributing to the group. A huge theme with all the companies mentioned was their ability to be agile once they allowed for smaller teams to form. Along with that, smaller teams create a more focused vision where everyone can learn their task.

  22. Caitlyn Bowles says:

    The article “Smart Innovators Value Smaller Teams over Better Processes” by Michael Schrage directly relates to the organizational behavior of a company. The article emphasizes the importance of having small teams working towards a goal within a company. Many mangers assign large groups to initiatives, but companies such as Facebook and Apple have proved that smaller teams can produce better work in the long run. Companies that invest time and effort in creating processes and cultures of team enablers have been able to make strides in their industries. After working in teams of multiple sizes, I have found that when working in teams of 3-5, the best work can be produced. Oftentimes when work is spread out among too many people, processes lack consistency and tend to stray away from the end goal of the effort. I believe that in the workplace many personalities can come out that may be overwhelming for a team. By sticking to a small number, it is easier for team members to share ideas in an inclusive environment.

  23. Haley Daughton says:

    The approach that Lockheed-Martin Skunk Works and many other organizations are now utilizing for innovation is the “smaller is beautiful” method. This idea supports the fact that more innovation and higher quality deliverables are derived from smaller groups of people. The article puts it as transitioning from football and soccer, teams of 11, to basketball, teams of 5. The priority of many organizations has transformed from making the innovation process more efficient for the small teams rather than making the team efficient for the innovation process. The so-called “exploitive” strategy that is becoming extremely popular because the smaller groups of people can work together more cohesively and effectively rather than groups of 70 plus working on an innovation project. The use of smaller teams also frees us management’s responsibility of micromanaging the larger more grueling innovation teams that required much more supervision. Management tries to keep teams so small that they even deny adn set aside talent rather they bring people in as needed for their skills. This allows for incremental growth of the innovation team rather than exponential which usually occurs when deadlines are approaching. The slower the growth of the innovation team, the more successful the organization will be in the long run. The more personal and connected a tight knit group of innovators is the more prosperous they will be.

  24. Courtney McCool says:

    The Lockheed Martin Skunk Works works because they value smaller teams. The idea behind it is to give more responsibilities to a smaller team. The innovation mindset of “smaller is beautiful” works because smaller teams allow for things to be done faster. The innovation teams work hard to stay small. They do this by using different digital and social media platforms to extend their reach. The use of technology minimizes the need to add more people to the team. To be innovative, the key is to slowly grow. Fast-growing innovation teams are not good and show that the wrong people were hired. The small teams grow in power and influence. Smaller teams feel they can get much more done than larger teams. Working in a small team provides easier communication across the members. A smaller team dynamic also allows the members to work more efficiently and build trust in one another. With technology continuously advancing, working in smaller teams is possible and efficient.

  25. Liam Maginnis says:

    A very difficult question to answer when creating a team is how big should the team be to be most effective. It may seem like an easy answer to say that the more brains or hands tackling a problem, the more efficient the work will be. While this can be true, it is also true that having too many brains or hands on a project can hurt the people getting the most work done. One example of this is how some large companies can become so complex with the layers of workers, you will have many workers working on a project while at the exact same time their boss, and that bosses boss are also all working on the project. All the different groups have different ideas of how to get the job done and all the different groups have different levels of pressure hanging onto the project. What Lockheed-Martin did was they made groups working on projects as small as they could be while still being efficient. They also made sure that the pressure to get the project done correctly was equal all around, with each team member wanting to achieve the end goal every member of the team became a leader.

  26. Michael Baiter says:

    Really informative article on how smaller teams are faster and more agile in making innovation decisions. At first, I had thought that a company would want as many people as possible in innovation meetings so that you could get more ideas in and with that find the best idea. But after reading the article I can see how companies like apple want fewer people in each team so that the smaller teams will allow for better communication as well as the ability for someone to step up and be a leader.

    Also, in the article when they talk about slow growth is key indicator in success is interesting from the outside looking in I always think like the iPhone idea came up and instantly they were onto the iPhone but reading this now and seeing companies take a slow approach shows how important each detail is for them as they make sure everything is 100 percent and they take a step by step approach.

    The biggest advantage with having small groups for innovation because it allows everyone to have a voice and have more productive open conversation. In the future if I ever am in a position to make decisions on group sizes I will certainly lean towards smaller groups.

  27. Devin Miles says:

    Kelly Johnson’s Lockheed Martin SkunkWorks has proven to be efficient because it challenges the concept that companies need larger innovation groups in order to be successful. These smaller groups of about 5 instead of 10 or 12 allow idea to flow more freely since they so not have to be visited by twice as many people in the group. They have focused on leaning how to successfully manage these teams taking the emphasis from “how do we successfully scale the team?” to “how do we successfully scale the team’s influence and deliverables?”. By shifting the focus on production rather than employee increments, they are looking for production from every employee and not just treating them like a number. Another notable effect from this idea is how to measure. Normally, growth would mean success, however, growth in these innovation groups also means adding people because the other ones are failing to produce in a given assignment or project. The SkunkWorks has proven to be effective and turns the traditional way of thinking of, “bigger is better” on it head to focus more in the efficiency side and, “going small to get big”.

  28. Madeline Allard says:

    In this article for the Harvard Business Review, author Michael Schrage describes a new trend he is seeing in team-building, in particular in innovation teams: small groups. Instead of the traditional innovation structures we have seen in the past where 70+ people will work to solve a problem, teams now are consisting of anywhere as small as 7 or 8 employees. In the example of Skunk Works, the lab teams developing drugs can range from 8 to 60, which allows them to be agile. A small team can make decisions quickly and doesn’t have to please so many people to get a majority vote. They can also get to know each other more personally and develop more consistent work dynamics. Technology helps too. But this doesn’t mean that small teams have no drawbacks. Some small teams warp the purpose of work, where their innovation is served by the enterprise instead of their innovation serving others. Or, they become such an exclusive unit that those they collaborate with “aren’t treated as teammates, but as support for the hardcore.” This sort of elitism will only hurt the company. Instead, when team-building shoot for agility and cohesiveness, but still keep a good eye out for culture fits. And when you are expanding, make sure it is for the right reasons and not just because the wrong people were hired in the first place or because the “wrong challenge was picked.”

  29. Victoria Corte-Real says:

    Working in teams is something that has been emphasized and implemented in almost every workplace in America. The Lockheed-Martin Skunk Works is the idea that smaller groups are way more efficient and effective than working in a much larger group. It has been a new focus for “the organizational priority [to make] innovation processes and culture subservient to the small teams rather than making small teams serve the innovation process.” When you have a smaller team it is easier to have one focus or the same goals. When a group gets larger, like to 70+ people it’s harder to keep everyone focused on one common goal or accomplishment. It also seems that people are now looking to have only a handful of highly productive and innovative people, instead of a really big team with only one-third of them producing great ideas. When a larger team exists there is more room for people to slack, fall behind and interfere with the innovation process, whereas, if the team is “lean and mean,” their efforts can just be towards producing good work because the accountability is there. This approach has obviously seen success in many organizations like Facebook, I am intrigued to see if this trend continues and the productivity it creates.

  30. Margaret Higgins says:

    Large organizations are looking to become smaller and are creating their own problems all at the same time. Major tech companies are breaking down into smaller groups to become more productive on projects but, is that hurting the health of the company? Some would argue yes, teams competing against each other to gain the attention of the C Suite can be both good and bad. Finding the perfect balance for your company is incredibly challenging and can take a long time to figure out what is best for you. One of the most interesting things the article mentions in my opinion is that companies are turning away incredible talent because of how they want to structure their teams. Although I can see why they would do this I cannot understand how a company would expect to innovate without new people and new opinions. By adding new people to a team they bring their own life experiences that are different from those of the members who are currently on the team. This is a big question to figure out and I think that trial and error is one of the only ways that companies can find their perfect balance.

  31. As companies transition from large teams to smaller groups, we will increasingly see more efficient work and less specialized roles. When companies have large groups of workers it creates unnecessary competition with in the company. Additionally, this hurts company culture and overall employees are not as close with their coworkers, which hurts team unison. The article mentions what slow and fast growth should look like for a team. Slow growth for a smaller team is actually desired, because it means that the team is growing and succeeding successfully as a unit. While, fast growth often means that a team is not succeeding to the desired level causing them to hire newer employees to make up for this, which can further disrupt growth. While, smaller teams are definitely beneficial it can create stress for certain members of the team if a coworker cannot complete a task. With these larger companies moving to smaller teams, it is definitely smart to continually check in on employees mental health, while additionally analyzing success levels of these smaller groups. Finally, I would advise centering these smaller groups in environments that can maximize success and interaction.

  32. Isabella Lay says:

    Having never heard of the idea that smaller teams work more effectively than larger ones, I was skeptical about the direction their article begins to go in on its stance on that issue. In class, we typically work in small teams of 3-4 people, but I had always thought that to get the most out of your work, it would help to have more helping hands. Some of the largest companies in the world of made up of hundreds of thousands of employees, so wouldn’t that mean larger teams are best? This article reminds its readers that its’ not about how much work gets done but the quality of it. In smaller teams, workers can benefit from being able to brainstorm ideas without enabling the possibility of overshadowing one another. Small teams can also remain focused on specific tasks while larger teams are forced to take on board topics. Facebook, Google, and Apple, attribute a lot of their success to the implication of small teams. While I do see the appeal for sticking to that one specific side, I believe that having a combination of large and small teams will lead to the most effective outcome. Like in a company, a large team takes the title of a “department”. There can be a marketing department, a human resources department, etc. Then, within those departments, small teams can be created to focus specifically on the most important needs of each “large group” or “department”. In this way, the company can reap the benefits of both teams and come together focused to take on each task.

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