The walls around our office are literally coming apart. The cubicles that forever were the secret breathing spaces of executives are replaced by open office. All this in the name of more teamwork and communication.
Teamwork and communication, of course, can solve a lot of problems. But its not a solution for all of us. In her groundbreaking book “Quiet”, Susan Cain told us that roughly one third people in this world are introverts who function better as individual, not in a team situation. For these introverts, once the walls came down and they are suddenly thrust into this open office, they started to feel like fish out of water.
Therefore we should be careful about these management myths. We assume that teamwork is fundamental to solving business problems. But its been proven that creative people, who in most cases are introverts, work better in quiet places and these people are fundamental in the two most important organizational growth areas of this century – design and innovation. Not only that, its a myth that you need transformational, charishmatic leaders to take organizations further. Rather, the extensive research done by Jim Collins showed that the quiet, unassuming leaders work better to lead organizations because they usually have more patience, cares less about their ego, listens to other people’s input, puts a lot of thought before making decisions and are more analytical in nature.
A hurrah for us introverts!