In a recent article in the Harvard Business Review (June 28, 2018), Darko Lovric and Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, suggest that “Too Much Team Harmony Can Kill Creativity”. They indicate three ways in which teams can be challenged:
- By setting bold yet achievable goals. Citing earlier research the article points to the motivating and enhancement effects of challenges, which are neither too easy nor impossible.
- Positive stress or eustress. Things that are worthwhile are frequently hard, but can generate “hope and purpose”.
- A level of conflict and adversity achieved by ‘red teaming’ or playing ‘devil’s advocate’ can enhance decision making.
Such measures are likely reduce the level of harmony in the team. The article draws attention to the following ways the resulting conflict and discord can be handled:
- Conscientiousness and agreeableness are seen as personality characteristics equipping teams to manage diversity and conflict.
- Psychological safety is seen as creating the necessary atmosphere of participation and trust.
- Finally, it is suggested that teams need time to settle, establishing group loyalty and trust.
As always everything in moderation.