Feature

Teamwork can outdo brilliance

America’s companies should reconsider the value of “a well-assembled team that may not dazzle with individual brilliance but overwhelms with collective capability,” said Bill Taylor in Harvard Business Review.

Bill TaylorHarvard Business Review

America’s bosses are too impressed by superstars, said Bill Taylor. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg claims that employees who are “exceptional in their role” are “100 times better” than those who are just pretty good. But he would say that, wouldn’t he? He has to defend his $47 million purchase of a company, FriendFeed, simply to acquire—or, as some say, “acqhire”—its employees at a cost of about $4 million apiece. Does that really make sense?

“If you are building a company, would you prefer one standout person over 100 pretty good people?” Consider how the team players of the Boston Bruins beat the star-studded Vancouver Canucks in the Stanley Cup, or how the Dallas Mavericks shamed LeBron James and the Miami Heat. Our fascination with “the Free Agent, the lone wolf, the techno-rebel with a cause” has gone too far. America’s companies should reconsider the value of “a well-assembled team that may not dazzle with individual brilliance but overwhelms with collective capability.”

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