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Smooth Waters

Eutopian teamwork is essentially the opposite of the collaborative model. Instead of talking and negotiation, the norm is not talking; after all, who needs to negotiate when people think so much alike that they are almost certain to agree from the start! The down side of such eutopian harmony is that under ordinary everyday operation all that peaceful cooperation can become somewhat dull. Since members of such a team get used to working with little or no discussion, they may not even communicate when they need to. When market conditions or underlying technology change radically or unexpectedly, they may not be able to respond or adapt as well as groups built on individual initiative or collaborative communication. At worst, they may continue on their contented way, oblivious to the world changing around them. If it is not a part of their shared vision, they may not see something as needing attention or response.

According to popular images, modern managers need to learn to survive in white water or to swim with the sharks and still succeed. While it is certainly possible to swim with sharks and survive, most swimmers would probably prefer warm, smooth waters. A synchronized swimming team would be well advised to stay out of white water altogether and far away from shark infested waters. Likewise, eutopian teams are better adapted to stable, consistent, and unhostile environments.


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