In the 21st century, there is still resistance to collaborate among members of work teams (and going further, between families, institutions, nations, etc). In my opinion, the main antecedent that most of us who receive traditional training have in common (with exceptions, see educational model in Finland) is that we have been educated under the Prussian approach (Teacher / Authority, Obedience / Competence). This situation evidently impacts the way we relate in our social environment and also defines how we develop in our work environment. In most cases a sense of competence prevails and therefore the work becomes more individualistic. Taking this context as background, it would seem that the great inventors develop their ideas from an isolated and individual environment, but in most cases this is not the case. I quote a text from the book “The Innovators” (Walter Isaacson / Steve J. Official Biographer, 2014):
“Many of the most important inventions of our era did not appear out of nowhere in a loft or garage, driven by the kind of solitary inventors who often appear on magazine covers or become part of the popular imagination along with Edison, Bell and Morse. Far from it, most of the innovations of the digital age are the result of effective collaboration across multidisciplinary work teams”.
At the beginning of the 19th century, social gatherings used to be held where disruptive thinkers of the time attended. To name a few: Ada Lovelace (first programmer in history) and Charles Babbage (Father of modern computing). A common ingredient was to RESONATE IDEAS, each individual naturally conversed and presented their proposals, where the rest of the group made contributions to the central idea, in such a way that the idea of the exponent was enriched by the contributions of the others.
High-performing teams, having matured through the process described by Tuckman (see Tuckman’s ladder) are filled with these collaborative ingredients and are therefore intended to deliver extraordinary results (This effect is masterfully described by Ed Catmull / CEO of PIXAR in his book Creatividad, SA, 2014).