Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Reflections: The Wisdom of Teams

Adam C. Zern shares his thoughts on John R. Katzenbach's and Douglas K. Smith's The Wisdom of Teams:

"My current occupation is as a Business Analyst for a specialty pharmacy.  It has been a wonderful learning experience as I've acclimated to the role and its requirements.  Just like with other areas of my life, I dislike not knowing what can be known.  Generally, my non-fiction reading list is packed full of political science and historical books since I have such a passion for both.  Yet, especially over the last several months, I have felt a desire to increase my understanding of business and practices related to it.  Mostly by accident, I started this new intellectual journey by reading The Wisdom of Teams by John R. Katzenbach and Douglas K. Smith.  I hope the journey gets better from here.

The Wisdom of Teams has plenty of good to provide, but it only needed about 150 pages to provide it.  Although it's not a very long book, the epilogue is all finished up by 265 pages, it feels long.  It feels repetitive and redundant.  On so many occasions I could hear myself saying internally: "I know, I know, teams are good."  The book lacked a feeling of importance, even though the authors mentioned on multiple occasions how important their ideas really are.

I did learn a handful of valuable things, but I wish it didn't take 265 pages to learn them.  (Keep in mind, I don't shy away from reading some pretty hefty books; they just better be good).  I think there are plenty of people, professionals, who go from day to day in their careers without ever thinking all that critically regarding their job performance, the organization they operate in, and how a few really good ideas could make things better.  That's where I think a book like The Wisdom of Teams could have a positive impact on a professional's career.  It can provide those ideas that a professional has never considered before.  Alas, in the case of The Wisdom of Teams, a few good ideas were buried by a clunky book.

I freely admit my issue may be less with The Wisdom of Teams and more with the entire genre of business books.  I hope that's not the case because I do plan on reading more business-related books in hopes of finding some more great ideas.  I just hope they're presented in a more reasonable, enjoyable, and affecting way."

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