The Power of Voltrons

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I was thinking about the working structure of Nelson Cash a week or so ago and how we’ve focused the studio around the idea of a team. Not physical, grouped-off teams, but the studio as one cohesive team. Instead of my concept vs. your concept, it becomes our concepts and we work together to make both ideas great.

The next day, I read an interesting article in which UC Davis psychology professor Dean Keith Simonton made the claim that scientific genius is extinct, stating:
“Natural sciences have become so big, and the knowledge base so complex and specialized, that much of the cutting-edge work these days tends to emerge from large, well-funded collaborative teams involving many contributors.”
The two thoughts merged and I began thinking about how in the same way, the digital era brings with it a connectivity and information network so vast that the solo hero no longer exists in our industry either. It’s just too big. Then I started thinking of one of the most sweet, badassest cartoons I’ve ever watched in my 31 years… Voltron.

The Voltron-esque team defeats disjointed, dispersed co-workers because they have the ability to know more on the whole, share information efficiently and act as one unified being with one vision.

The concept of individual parts joining together to make up the whole is not a new concept. Look around and you’ll see examples of it in everyday life all over the place.

  • A cow on its own is harmless, it meets friends, and they become a thunderous stampede.
  • Microscopic molecules of water join forces to make an ocean.
  • A network of individual synapses in the brain work together to make up the whole of the brain’s ability.
  • The Internet connects individual pages of disparate information to make one powerful tool.

Teams are the mode of progress. In the long run, a team of good individuals that work well together will accomplish more and get further than a team of great individuals that can’t work together. Ask most any professional sports team and they’ll tell you the same. You can’t win a World Series or Superbowl with amazing individual talent, you need a team united under a common mission to earn it.

At the end of the day, united teams beat divided individuals. Perhaps the best good we can do for ourselves is to focus on how to be better teammates.

(This post was originally published on Nelson Cash‘s blog here: http://nelsoncash.com/blog/2013/02/19/the-power-of-voltrons/)

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