The Rise of the New Groupthink - NYTimes.com
SOLITUDE is out of fashion. Our companies, our schools and our culture are in thrall to an idea I call the New Groupthink, which holds that creativity and achievement come from an oddly gregarious place. Most of us now work in teams, in offices without walls, for managers who prize people skills above all. Lone geniuses are out. Collaboration is in.
But there’s a problem with this view.
[...] We need to move beyond the New Groupthink and embrace a more nuanced approach to creativity and learning. Our offices should encourage casual, cafe-style interactions, but allow people to disappear into personalized, private spaces when they want to be alone. Our schools should teach children to work with others, but also to work on their own for sustained periods of time. And we must recognize that introverts like Steve Wozniak need extra quiet and privacy to do their best work.
I believe in the power of the individual— the creative thinker (Heck, I work as an independent consultant). But I also believe in the power of the group, and when properly harnessed, whether through accidental interactions or facilitated, interactive meetings, great results are born. It's clear from this article, and confirmed by my experience, that you need to balance all of these types of creative environments (individual, spontaneous interactions, and organized team meetings).