The Rise of the New Groupthink

An opinion piece for the New York Times by Susan Cain, talking about how research is suggesting the current trend of open-plan workspaces and constant group collaboration is inefficient and stifles creativity. Endless meetings and sub-par ideas pushed by extroverted individuals leads to poor company performance and poor employee quality of life. She also writes that the majority of true creative thinkers are introverts.

As always, I think there is a balance. Having an extra brain around is very helpful in a lot of situations, but after a certain point things become a competition of who can talk the loudest. In my experience any group larger than 3 will generally have someone excluded from the majority of the conversation.

In general I think working alone is better for fleshing out the main foundation of an idea, and group discussion is good when you want a sort of rapid-fire way of generating variations on the main idea.

Also, read the comments. A lot of people from the "creative industry" have submitted their thoughts. Some pretty insightful comments... most of them agreeing with the article.

This piece also featured some QUAL(ity) illustrations by Andy Rementer.

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