Hot Teams Need Characters

hot teams need characters

“Remember that innovation stalls with the status quo. Celebrate your team members’ differences. Many years ago one of the most brilliant engineers at Atari was, well, eccentric. He lost his apartment, so he literally moved into the office, taking residence in a makeshift loft that fellow team members built for him. Incredibly, the only entrance was through a conference room. He’d crank away all night, and you’d arrive in the morning to find all the amazing things he’d accomplished. But you couldn’t talk to him till the afternoon when he clambered down from his loft. If you think this sounds bizarre, sometimes that’s how innovation happens. Amazon’s first and most prolific reviewer was practically entombed in books. Every wall of his office was crammed with volumes stretching up to the ceiling. His sleeping bag was tucked under his makeshift desk. He rarely went home.

Hot groups tend to have at least one or two certifiable weirdos. Look around your group or team to get a sense of the different roles people play. Most teams have everything from dramatic leads to character actors, writers, and, yes, directors. Characters round out your company, and we all need a few individuals we’re not sure what to do with.”

The Art of Innovation by Tom Kelley, p.97-98

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