January 09, 2018

By Gonzalo López Martí - Creative director, etc. / LMMiami.com

  • Let’s get the snark out of the way first.
  • If you want something done, do it yourself.
  • If you want something gridlocked, put a committee in charge.
  • A camel is a horse designed by committee.
  • Groupthink.
  • Despite its bad press, teamwork and its cousin, collaboration, are pervasive buzzwords in the corporate world.
  • Teamwork is great to disseminate responsibility in such a way that nobody can individually be thrown under the bus in case something goes wrong.
  • Throughout my long and winding career in the marketing, advertising and editorial rackets I’ve partaken of hundreds of attempts at teamwork that were anything but.
  • Most of these attempts began by blatantly breaking the #1 rule of brainstorming: the notion that no idea is a bad idea, that no idea should be frowned upon.
  • It was sad to see how, most of the times, browbeating and eyerolling became the norm immediately.
  • A bunch of people in a room just trying to intimidate one another.
  • Pissing contests.
  • Turf wars.
  • In some cases, it all becomes a text book case of The Abilene paradox.
  • Don’t know what the Abilene Paradox is?
  • Google it.
  • It is fascinating.
  • You’ll be surprised at how many times you’ve experienced it firsthand throughout your life.
  • It basically consists of a bunch of eager-to-please individuals who, for the sake of not rocking the boat, pretend to agree on something they all secretly disagree with.
  • Peer pressure combined with groupthink at its weirdest.
  • Good-intentioned folks “picking their battles” and acting against their will simply because they don’t think it is an a opportune political maneuver to raise their voice.
  • Focus groups anyone?
  • Mind you, collaboration can produce great outcomes though.
  • The Bible, for instance, arguably the most important work of literary fiction ever written, is a massive oeuvre of teamwork.
  • Dozens, if not hundreds of scribes and scholars making their selfless contributions throughout generations to shape the myths and morality of Judeo-Christian civilization.
  • Storytelling at its best.
  • Yeah, it is a gigantic compilation of make-believe yet it still is, at least until the advent of the internet and wikipedia, the most ambitious treatise of ethics, literature, fact and fiction known to man.
  • And woman.
  • To be continued next week.


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