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.

Download PDF

Tags: , , , , ,

| What is MyVisionRoom? > | Back to Leadership >

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.

See more articles by >

COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
If you are afraid of people , how do you come out of the house? Church is a place where friendliness and kindness starts. When you attend any place only once, you don't get the full benefit Church hopping , attending a different church every Sunday ? You don't get to know people. I think that commitment is the problem.
 
— Phylissis Ransom
 
We drive 20 miles and pass by numerous churches on the way to our church. It isn't perfect, but at least it is very intentional about making guests feel safe, comfortable, and welcome. We do have a brief 'greeting time' that quickly leads into a worship music set. Rather than just saying "Stand and greet the people around you" the host puts people at ease by making it a bit more fun. (and less intimidating) They may reference a personal memory or non-controversial topic and say something like; "Tell your neighbor who your favorite cartoon character is." or "Tell someone what was your best-ever bowling score." The music begins before anyone has time to be uncomfortable or tell their life story. Works well for us.
 
— Sara Tonin
 
My neighbor was a pastor, and now his son is. When they see me passing by, they either stare or look the other way. The ex pastors wife only speaks to me when I come into where she works. She takes care of the dining room, so it is her job to speak to others about drink refills, etc. She also asks me questions about things that are none of her business, since she ignores me the rest of the time. I bet if I did show up at their Church, I would not to welcome. I wouldn't go for that reason. This Church is walking distance from my house, but I would go 10 miles away to Church, before I would go to theirs.
 
— Karen
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.