Katie Stubblefield was 18 when she tried to commit suicide, but instead of killing herself, the gun she used deconstructed her entire face. The Cleveland Clinic took her in immediately as one of their candidates for a complete facial transplant. The transplant was the third ever preformed by the Clinic. Although the 22 surgeries that followed were a massive feat, the real work was done in the thousands of hours of teamwork behind the scenes. Teams worked tirelessly to find innovative maneuvers and procedures as they reconstructed Katie’s face.
The Harvard Business Review recently published an article about the research produced by small teams compared to large teams. Although the research produced by large teams was impressive, in their words the small teams produced, “Small, but mighty disruptive” work.
Able to better penetrate and brain-storm within small groups, their research was far more ground- breaking and disruptive to their fields than those of large groups. Although large groups are extremely useful garner big data, innovation is more often born in the team setting of,small numbers.
In teams we have the ability to be innovative, much more than large groups. To be “disruptive” in the best ways.
The challenge this week is to evaluate yourself as a team leader or team member. Do you encourage the innovative power of your small group? Or does unwritten protocol dampen and deplete innovation?
I know many who’s career in health care was sparked by differences they wanted to make, and innovations they wanted to spearhead. As a leader and team member, it should be your mission to encourage and champion the innovations of others, even in their infancy, when they are the most vulnerable to the negativity of the status quo.