Corralling brilliant and creative individuals to work together as a team is incredibly difficult. That’s why every successful company where people are both productive and happy feels a little magical. The harried, stressful environment or the disengaged, sullen office are both far more common sights.
You might think that creative and productive individuals easily combine to form creative and productive teams, but I’ve noticed that the opposite happens more often than not. An individual’s creativity and productivity are extremely fragile things that are liable to fall apart when individuals are put in a room to work on problems that are complex, time-constrained, and flat-out hard.
A well-intentioned response that I often see out of productive people is to get frustrated when not enough is getting done and go 100% into heads-down mode, but that just exacerbates the problem. What ends up happening is embitterment, disengagement, and finally, attrition. Preventing all that from happening is the other half of everyone’s job.