Apple co-founder Steve “Woz” Wozniak writes in his memoir, iWoz: Computer Geek to Cult Icon: How I Invented the Personal Computer, Co-Founded Apple, and Had Fun Doing It (2006):
Most inventors and engineers I’ve met are like me—they’re shy and they live in their heads. They’re almost like artists. In fact, the very best of them are artists. And artists work best alone—best outside of corporate environments, best where they can control an invention’s design without a lot of other people designing it for marketing or some other committee. I don’t believe anything really revolutionary has ever been invented by committee… I’m going to give you some advice that might be hard to take. That advice is: Work alone.
Teams aren’t automatically better at creativity. In what’s termed “collaborative inhibition,” everyone needs to be happy, so team members talk and talk until they’ve reached a consensus on a decision which is usually the lowest common denominator, something tepid that everyone, worn out from the prolonged discussion, can endorse.
Idea for Impact: The best creative decisions often reflect a unique, opinionated perspective. Look for ways to increase organizational creativity by building better environments in which individual creativity can thrive.