When asked what the shortest poem he had ever written was, Mohammed Ali replied “Me, We”. While it’s true there’s no collective without the individual contribution of every member, we forget that the individual needs the collective just as much. Through collaboration, individuals achieve far more than they ever could do alone.
Take Pixar as an example. After the success of the Pixar team’s debut animated film Toy Story, they decided that if they were going to create truly exceptional films every time, it would be essential to institute a transparent and collaborative environment in the workplace. To this end, they established the Braintrust, a regular meeting where Pixar employees could come together and speak candidly about every aspect of the film-making process from the script, to design, to production.
The meetings would be filled will opinions, spirited debate, and lots of laughter. Through this process, a film would go from something mediocre to something outstanding, and as an added benefit, the company achieved exceptional levels of camaraderie.