Research: Successful Creative Teams Embrace Differences

Creativity must be invited. If you're an artist, entrepreneur or scientist, you know that successful innovation and discovery is not always a straightforward process. It's often about stage-setting. It's about making unexpected connections. It's about living in the question. 

So what kind of creative teams produce memorable or significant products?

This sociological research referenced by Gijs van Wulfen on LinkedIn looks at how some of the most popular video games of all time became so popular, examining over 12,000 games produced from 1979 (yes kids, it's true) to 2009, and the nearly 140,000 career histories of the team members that created them.

What did they find?

Game changers are likely to be developed by teams that include cognitively different groups... [and] 

Teams comprising industry veterans are less likely to produce games that deviate from the norm. Including newcomers is a significant positive predictor of distinctiveness.

Moreover, older firms and highly cohesive teams with "cognitively close" developers were less likely to innovate.

So on teams chasing a common vision, diverse people, backgrounds and minds produce the most lasting and memorable change. Diversity is a strategic advantage.

Stay curious.