More Collaboration is Better for Your Ministry – Until It’s Not

Collaboration is an important part of innovation.  The days of the lone genius are gone (if they ever really existed at all) – now, it takes a network to innovate.

But how much collaboration do we need?

In his new book To Sell is Human, Dan Pink talks about some interesting findings in the research of Adam Grant.  Grant looks at sales results relative to a person’s level of extraversion.  Everyone knows that extraverts make the best salespeople, right?  Well, wrong, actually.  Check this out:

Sales Revenue - Extraversion

Pink says:

As you can see from the chart, the folks who fared the best — by a wide margin — were the in the modulated middle. They’re called “ambiverts,” a term that has been in the literature since the 1920s. They’re not overly extraverted. They’re not overly introverted. They’re a little of both.

He adds more detail in this post, and also has a test where you can test whether or not you’re an ambivert too.

The key question is why does it turn back down?  This upside-down U shape is actually a very common research finding.   You frequently see it in systems that require attention.  Usually, it means that if you have too many team members involved, you can’t pay enough attention to each, and your results start to get worse.

This is interesting for a three reasons.

  • We often search for black and white answers – but life rarely offers them.
  • Is collaboration good?  Yes, but only up to a point.
  • Is extraversion good if you’re a salesperson (and all leaders are “selling” something)?  Yes, but only up to a point.

Figuring out where that point lies is part of the art of managing.  And being comfortable with the ambiguity in this is an even bigger part being a leader.

So just remember: more is better, but only until it’s not.

Read more from Tim here.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tim Kastelle

Tim Kastelle

Tim Kastelle is a Lecturer in Innovation Management in the University of Queensland Business School. He blogs about innovation at the Innovation Leadership Network.

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Your experience has given me hope. Thank you
 
— Lynn
 
Misguided member to be sure. Best course of action for pastors is to preach God's pure word, plant the seed, and God will bring the increase.
 
— Rick
 
This article reminds me of an experience I had. In my third year at the parish I pastor I needed to make some staff changes. During that process I was constantly praying for insight and enlightenment. Some old time parishioners did like that I was making these changes. They did not like the growth that was happening and did not want any change. This group parisioners decided to protest by only putting a dollar a week in the collection. The most incredible thing happened, during the weeks they were protesting the parish collection went up by over 5%. Now as any pastor can tell you all collections fluctuate, but while people are deliberately trying to hurt the parish or more to the point hurt me, this was a blessing. This reminded me that if I pray and I try to do what I believe God is telling me to do, God will take care or me and my people. Pastors that are trying to do God's will, put God's will first and don't be bullied by people trying to lead you away from God's will.
 
— Fr. James Wozniak
 

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