A team that thinks out of the box is created by having a mix of different talents, skills, unique traits, and creativity amongst team members. These types of team characteristics are more likely to be present when individuals on the team come from different backgrounds, disciplines, and areas of expertise. At Red Dog Media, co-founders, Bryce Landier and Michael Landier, like to assemble a team where each member brings something new to the table. By hiring employees that have a similar work ethic but are inherently different due to life experiences, the Red Dog Media team is able to solve problems in an innovative way.
The most productive creative teams frequently show characteristics that seem contradictory. A team needs both expertise in relevant subjects while also having fresh eyes that see past the established ways of working. Each member needs the freedom to choose how to achieve their goals while also having the discipline to work in line with the companies strategy.
To build a team that can work among different dynamics, the team needs to be shaped so that each member brings a unique combination of knowledge and skills. This encourages the search for new information and perspectives which leads to better decision making and problem solving. Intellectual diversity can improve the bottom line for companies and lead to unrestricted discoveries and breakthrough innovations.
Teams that are diverse are more likely to constantly reexamine facts and remain objective. This can also encourage greater scrutiny of each member’s ideas which keeps their joint cognitive resources vigilant and sharp. This is very important as teams that are homogeneous rest somewhat assured that they will agree with one another. Although it is good to understand people’s perspectives and beliefs, this type of thought process can lead to an echo chamber effect that can cause errors. When a group notices that they think differently, they change their expectations. The diverse team will work harder to come to a consensus and find the truly best idea instead of falling prey to the downsides of groupthink. These ideas and solutions will be richer and more valuable due to the large variety of perspectives that inform them.
Our team at Red Dog Media benefits from the inclusion of intellectual diversity. By having employees that come from different walks of life we are able to create a melting pot of ideas. Our team has a variety of different personalities that have varying work related experiences.
Some employees gained their knowledge through traditional education systems while some acquired it through work experience. As well, some employees are veterans in their field while some are relatively new to it in comparison. By hiring employees that exemplify a contrasting duality, we get the best of both worlds. Fresh ideas are able to be brought into the mix of tried and true methods which helps yield the best results.
At Red Dog Media, all of our employees share one trait, a strong work ethic. Being self motivated is a requirement for working at Red Dog Media. Our team inherently wants to do well which makes it easier to approach the best solution to any problem even with minds that think differently.
Matt Ridley said in a TED lecture ““what’s relevant to a society is how well people are communicating their ideas and how well they are cooperating not how clever the individuals are… it’s the interchange of ideas, the meeting and mating of ideas between that [causes]… innovation.” At the Red Dog Media office we believe communication is key, especially when it comes to intellectual diversity. Not only are management’s doors always open, but when it comes to project meetings, everyone has a say. When the Red Dog Media team meets, employees are encouraged to give their feedback on current projects and also give input on specific projects they think would be a good idea. In most cases the employee that thinks of the new idea is able to spearhead the project and watch their idea come to life.
Like yin and yang, contrast is necessary to build the best team. At Red Dog Media we believe utilizing an intellectually diverse team allows us to live up to our full potential.
If you liked this article, why not check out another on the Red Dog Media Blog: