Why Do We Need A Team?
The Science Behind Innovation.
👋 Hey Friends,
When we think about famous people like Leonardo Da Vinci and Albert Einstein, we often imagine them as lone geniuses.
People of great “brain power” who discovered amazing things all by themselves.
But actually, coming up with new ideas is usually a group effort, not just the work of one genius.
How can I say that?
No, it’s not I 🧐 who says that.
It’s Michael Muthukrishna & Joseph Henrich from the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, who say that:
Just like our thoughts come from many neurons working together in our brains, new ideas (innovations) are the result of many people's thoughts and interactions in society.
Our brains, even though they're amazing, have limits.
What one person can't do alone, we can often achieve by working together as a TEAM.
Joseph Henrich, in his book "The Secret of Our Success," talks about how humans became successful because we worked together.
Our brains are big and need a lot of energy, so we had to find ways to get more energy, like eating higher calorie foods and cooking them to get even more energy. We learned these skills and shared them with others.
This act of sharing different cooking skills resulted in cooking innovations.
What sets humans apart from other species is our ability to share knowledge and think together. Innovations don't just happen alone; they happen because we share our knowledge.
There are three main ways we come up with innovative ideas:
Luck: Sometimes, we find new things by accident or luck. For example, Penicillin and X-rays were discovered this way.
Mixing ideas: Have you ever wondered why many innovations emerged at the same time in history and culture? Innovators were exposed to similar ideas and eventually recombined them to create something new. For example, the telephone was independently invented by both Alexander Graham Bell and Elisha Gray. The development of the radio can be attributed to both Nikola Tesla and Guglielmo Marconi. Similarly, the theory of evolution was developed not just by Charles Darwin but also by Alfred Russel Wallace
Iterations: We don't always invent something completely new; sometimes, we just make existing things better. Like Gutenberg didn't invent the printing press from scratch; he improved it. Same with Edison and the light bulb; he wasn't the first to come up with it, but he made it better.
So, how do we create an environment where more of these discoveries can happen?
The key is to connect people.
But not just randomly connect them!
Connect them on a "single thought.”
That reminds me of the definition of a team.
A team is a group of strangers working together on a “common goal.”
single thought = common goal
Interconnectedness leads to more innovation. When people are more connected, they share more ideas, which leads to more new ideas.
So, what's the secret sauce for more innovation?
The more we interact and share ideas, the more creative we get.
Quote of the Week
There is no doubt that creativity is the most important human resource of all. Without creativity, there would be no progress, and we would be forever repeating the same patterns.
EDWARD DE BONO
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Until next week 👋
“I share things I wish I knew in the starting years of my career in the corporate world."
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