Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Collective Souls

You have a project that needs getting done.

You recognize there is no way this can be pulled off by yourself.

You need help.

A collaborator.

Two candidates appear on your radar screen. One is perfect. Just like you in every way, with a very similar personality, skill sets and world view. The other hardly resembles you at all, with talents and abilities that feel completely foreign to you.

Which candidate would you choose?

This is precisely the same dilemma facing a rambunctious 21-year old named Steve, who fancies himself as a bit of a design freak. History has revealed Steve to be somewhat of a right-brained, "loose screw" visionary type, intent on changing the world. But to do that, he recognizes the need for a left-brained, process-drive, "nuts and bolts" type thinker to complement the collective corporate soul he is attempting to create.

Enter Steve #2.

As in Wozniak.

He is the guy who just wanted to build computers, but decided to leave his career as a Hewlett-Packard engineer in 1976 to jump in to the start-up foxhole with Steve Jobs and launch Apple Computer.

That decision triggered a personal-computer revolution.

Apple would never be what it is today without either Steve.

Jobs, the "loose screw" visionary, and Wozniak, the "nuts and bolts" technical genius.

More and more organizations are slowly starting to recognize the benefits of cross-pollinating left-brained, "nuts and bolts" types with the creative "loose screw" right-brainers, who at times can come across as a little off the wall. Sadly, too many MBA-trained, spreadsheet savvy pseudo-intellectuals will trumpet data, facts, statistics and case studies to drown out the sound of what might be a game-changing creative idea, usually from a lone artist, struggling to articulate what he or she knows to be true.

When it comes to a new way to collaborate and make your company shine, is there a page from this songsheet you can steal from the two Steves?

How effective has your organization been at blending "nuts and bolts" thinkers with "loose screw" big idea types?

Do you have too many of one type sitting around the table in that boardroom of yours?

When was the last time you asked "why is that"?

"Off upon my journey I must go to where the river flows"

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1 comment:

zombywoof said...

" Sadly, too many MBA-trained, spreadsheet savvy pseudo-intellectuals will trumpet data, facts, statistics and case studies to drown out the sound "

Easy stereotypical target, however it is a simplistic view of what an MBA brings to the table and as for "pseudo intellectuals" please expand. If they are only spewing data that hardly qualifies as "pseudo intellectualism".
Sit down and listen to most interviews Steve Jobs has given and then tell me who is "pseudo intellectual".