I work with a few clients who feel like “the more the better” with creative work. They want everyone they can think of to be part of our creative or marketing meetings. But when it comes to brainstorming and creative teams, Jeff Bezos at Amazon.com says to keep them small. Usually, when I’m involved in creative meetings with clients, most organizations want 20-30 people in the meetings and that’s just too large and unproductive a group to work. With a smaller group of key people, you don’t waste a lot of time and man hours on bad ideas. Plus, small groups move faster and are more nimble. Bezos thinks a group small enough to be fed off two pizzas is perfect.
In a Business Week magazine interview a year or so ago, Bezos said he likes to create what he calls a “culture of divine discontent.” That’s the feeling at an organization anything can be improved, anytime. Nothing is perfect and everyone is always looking for a better way. It reminded me of the Japanese word “Kaizen,” which means “continuous improvement.” Every second, every minute, every day, we can be more innovative and creative.
Have you experienced working on teams that are just too large to accomplish anything?