Must See TED Talk on Keys to High Performing Groups

Group creativity and performance, what will make a school organization successful in times of challenge and change, is not driven by a few superstars.  It is driven by the sum of interactions of diverse groups with time to share and build in relatively equality.

Thanks to Bo Adams, my primary filter for TED talks, for highlighting this “must see” talk from Margaret Heffernan.  She captures the key elements of the “must read” book, Social Physics by Alex Pentland, whose studies at MIT prove that successful groups:

  1. Exhibit high degrees of social sensitivity to each other.
  2. Give each other relatively equal time in group interactions.
  3. Encompass broadly diverse viewpoints.

Successful organizations do not rely on positional leaders or superstars.  This will require a fundamental change in how school positional leaders understand their role, and a fundamental change in the responsibility for innovation accepted by the community of teachers and administrators.


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