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Multi-disciplinary teams yes, but with chemistry too

A few weeks ago I had an interesting conversation in my children’s basketball club. The club manager explained that recently they have changed their approach to set up teams of young children. Traditionally, they used to set up teams considering individual skills, trying to get the best technical combination and achieve the highest performance group. But at some point they realized that too often teams did not perform as expected. So now they have tried another approach, which seems to succeed: Besides a basic skills combination, they prioritize teams of children that have a proved good chemistry among themselves.

I have the strong opinion that adults are more similar to children than to computers (uhm… I might write a new post for this). But anyway, this basketball story reinforces my opinion that chemistry cannot be underestimated at work. Lately I have seen a lot of focus on setting up multi-disciplinary teams to promote creativity, high performance, innovation, etc. But sometimes we underrate the power of good and bad chemistry, which I believe that is very difficult to modify. As managers, we can set up strategies to improve communication, team building, sense of community, etc. but we cannot influence chemistry that much, as it is too emotional, personal, and intuitive.

So I like multi-disciplinary teams, based on people with different and complementary skills. I like them as long as they have a good chemistry. Or in the worst case, as long as they don’t have a bad chemistry! J

Perhaps in our interviews we should ask candidates to have a beer with their future teams. We would only accept them if they all spontaneously stay to take another one. Or two more. ;-)

Please see a video of the Marchette Women’s basketball team, “We are always together, even if we don’t have to”:


Have a nice and ‘chemical’ day,

Miquel Febrer


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