Sunday, November 21, 2010

Mail Chutes and Optimal Team Size

Interesting Business Insider article on innovation.

The article starts with the assertion that Google can’t keep its teams small enough. This is then followed by the story of:

'how Larry Ellison actually got efficiencies from teams. If a team wasn’t productive, he’d come every couple of weeks and say “let me help you out.” What did he do? He took away another person until the team started shipping and stopped having unproductive meetings.'

1 comment:

  1. The dilemma between guerilla commandos and armies is thousands of years old. Potentates who know how to combine the two into synergistic action are the most successful: the Roman empire was built on its ruler’s skillful execution of this art.

    The problem with many large companies is that they are run more like the Ottoman empire. Estranged executives unable to grasp the value of their commandos (researchers) have these small teams managed by MBA’s in the misinformed belief the MBAs can monetize the researcher’s forays.

    Can you imagine the military having their Delta Force teams led by hostage negotiators or supply chain managers?