What if collaboration hurts productivity?

The Context Of Things

Collaboration Slows Down Productivity

If you had to make a list of every business buzzword that a top dog/senior executive says in a meeting/presentation, I doubt you’d get very far down the list without hearing “collaboration.” People love to talk about collaboration. It seems like, you know, maybe … it will solve all ills! After all, two heads on a problem (a deliverable) has to be better than one, right? The dirty little secret of all this, of course, is that no one really wants to collaborate. (As I’ve gotten older, I’ve thought more and more that maybe the reasoning there is that individuals get promoted, but teams don’t … so why not focus on your personal deliverables? That’s going to get you further.)

But what if there’s another dirty little secret? What if collaboration, which every manager is preaching, actually is bad for productivity? Well, it probably is.

Here’s research from Northwestern and…

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