Want your team to be innovative? Keep collaborators fresh

If you’d like to create revolutionary, stimulating work, contemplate teaming up with new collaborators.

That is the discovering of a paper in Nature Human Behavior that studied over 3 million science papers throughout disciplines, together with the archives of main publications like Science and Nature. The researchers discovered that initiatives performed by groups with few members who’ve labored collectively beforehand are considerably extra doubtless to produce extra impactful and unique work. The impact is extra distinguished on giant groups. 

You’ve most likely skilled this phenomenon in your personal work life: You understand how you actually present up for brand spanking new coworkers or companions, however are extra doubtless to cellphone it in with longtime work wives? That.

For managers or creators looking for considerate innovation and originality—which isn’t the aim of, say, most customer support groups—the sensible purposes of this are easy:

  • managers ought to encourage groups to add new members
  • collaborators ought to search out fresh companions

The research measured influence and originality by shrewdly tracing how papers had been cited: For instance, papers broadly cited in lots of fields had been thought of to have broad multidisciplinary influence, whereas papers that different researchers often cited alone, with out citing the references inside the unique paper, had been thought of to disrupt science with new concepts.

The examine additionally discovered that youthful groups had been additionally extra doubtless to produce extra artistic, impactful work, although it’s price noting that youthful researchers are generally looking for tenure-track positions, and so this doesn’t essentially imply that growing older scientists’ skills wane.