What’s the Buzz?

Teams shows individual members talk to each other often are more effective than those whose mode of communication runs through the boss.

So says an MIT researcher who has studied patterns of industrial communication for the past decade. What Dr. Sandy Pentland has found is that the pattern of communication is more important than the specific talents of the individual team members. In other words, a team that communicates well is greater than the sum of its parts, while the team that rigidly adheres to old school ways of sharing information will fall short.

The analogy is a beehive, where the swarm actually is able to transfer data faster and in more usable bits than alternate systems can achieve. This fosters creativity and speeds idea innovation, Pentland’s research found.

Pentland’s paper, “The New Science of Building Great Teams,” is in this month’s Harvard Business Review. An alternate synopsis of the paper is here.

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About Mike

Mike Buetow is president of the Printed Circuit Engineering Association (pcea.net). He previously was editor-in-chief of Circuits Assembly magazine, the leading publication for electronics manufacturing, and PCD&F, the leading publication for printed circuit design and fabrication. He spent 21 years as vice president and editorial director of UP Media Group, for which he oversaw all editorial and production aspects. He has more than 30 years' experience in the electronics industry, including six years at IPC, an electronics trade association, at which he was a technical projects manager and communications director. He has also held editorial positions at SMT Magazine, community newspapers and in book publishing. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois. Follow Mike on Twitter: @mikebuetow

One thought on “What’s the Buzz?

  1. Good post, some talk at least is so important, but too much is way too much. So much depends on seating arrangements in an office: whose cube or office has proximity to whose. Keen to hear what others think of this research – particularly on this point!

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