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Collaboration in creative work and performance

An essay by cellist David Waterman from The Guardian (courtesy of Arts & Letters Daily):

-- Edward Tufte

If a team refuses to storm, they block themselves from finding each others limits.

Without knowing the limits of each team member, you cannot know the limits of the team as a whole. Without such passion, one may never know if a performance went as well as it could have. Without knowing limits no one could set any worthwhile and challenging goals.

Whatever atmosphere that might make a team indifferent, I am suspect of any team that gets along to well. Such a team may just be making Powerpoint presentations rather than criticizing and questioning one anothers data. We here know the outcome of such a team.

In a risk-averted atmosphere in the current economy, it is far to easy to be complacent and submissive in the face of mediocre work. Everyone needs to be able to take a risk and state their opinions. Accepting criticism is just as important. Without honesty, a team is nothing.

-- Jeffrey Berg (email)

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