An R&D Team Will Boost Your Success

There’s another one team building idea I want to share with You.

One of the best ways to ensure that your planning is successful is to create your own R&D (research and development) team. All truly successful businesses have departments or teams specifically dedicated to finding and developing new and better ways to do whatever it is the company does, so why not you?

At it’s most basic, and R&D team a small group of friends that you bribe into helping you with problems by offerings of pizza and beer. At it’s most complex, it can be a worldwide network of e-quaintences who have signed on to receive email newsletters from you outlining the projects you are working on, and who in return offer feedback or creative help from hundreds of different perspectives.

Wherever your group falls along this continuum, to be effective they must have a clear idea of where you’re going and what help you need. Be clear and clean in your discussions, and accept all feedback openly and without defensive posturing. Of course, if someone is taking advantage of your goodwill by scarfing up your pizza, but offering only bland or even hurtful critiques in return with no real effort at being helpful or creating solutions, don’t invite them back – just be sure it’s them, and not you, who are the problem!

Don’t forget to keep your R&D team up to date on the progress of the projects they helped on. After all, it’s their baby too, and no one likes to help out and then be left behind – if you pull a ”thanks for all your help, b’bye now” routine on them, they will get frustrated and won’t want to play any more, leaving you to do all that work by yourself. Reciprocate in kind by joining in their R&D teams if they ask (or offer first, to be really nice).

Creating and using R&D teams can save you much wasted time, pointless effort and avoidable pain. No one of us knows as much as all of us put together, and the group dynamic is a good example of a behavior known as ”emergent phenomenon” – it often generates results that are greater than the sum of its parts. By sending your ideas and problems through your R&D team, rather than attempting to handle it all yourself, you’ll end up with a far greater number and higher quality of ideas to work with (even if you do end going with your original plan) than you could ever hope to come up with on your own.

(Fun note: Even mad scientists and evil overlords, the two most basic ”one-man operations” there are, take advantage of this stress-relieving concept. Remember – you, too, have minions. Use them!)

(c) Soni Pitts