Now I want to tell you about what one company found when it decided that it would turn over some of its new projects to teams of people, and make the team responsible for planning the projects and getting the work done.
After about six months, the company took a look at how well the teams performed.
On virtually every team, some members got almost a "free ride" ...they didn't contribute much at all, but if their team did a good job, they nevertheless benefited from the recognition the team got.
And what about group members who worked especially well and who provided a lot of insight on problems and issues?
Well ...the recognition for a job well done went to the group as a whole, no names were named.
So it won't surprise you to learn that when the real contributors were asked how they felt about the group process, their attitude was just the opposite of what the reading predicts.
Another finding was that some projects just didn't move very quickly.
Why? Because it took so long to reach consensus; it took many, many meetings to build the agreement among group members about how they would move the project along.
On the other hand, there were other instances where one or two people managed to become very influential over what their group did.
Sometimes when those influencers said "That will never work" about an idea the group was developing, the idea was quickly dropped instead of being further discussed.
And then there was another occasion when a couple influencers convinced the group that a plan of theirs was "highly creative."
And even though some members tried to warn the rest of the group that the project was moving in directions that might not work, they were basically ignored by other group members.
Can you guess the ending to this story?
When the project failed, the blame was placed on all the members of the group.