BBC: Why a Revolving Door of Team Members is Fuel for Success

08 Jun 2021
Analyzing the core artists who worked on the TV series Doctor Who between 1963 and 2014, an AMJ study showed that staff changes can boost creativity and productivity.

Originally found at BBC Creativity Collective, by Bryan Lufkin.

The term ‘revolving door’ probably isn't one you want to hear when someone describes your workplace. It can mean staff constantly changing, signalling something very wrong with how a company is run. It can also feel unsettling to those who stay put, with an endless flow of new faces to work with.

But while excessive instability can be disruptive, a little bit of disruption can also bring positive benefits. New research shows that bringing fresh faces into an organisation – or even colleagues you don’t usually work with – is a boon for creativity. Shaking up your team just the right amount can transform an echo chamber that limits your potential into a force for innovation that takes your work to new heights – or, for Doctor Who fans, even a new dimension of space and time.

There may be a surprisingly simple recipe to getting the creative juices flowing.

Pier Vittorio Mannucci, assistant professor of organisational behaviour at London Business School, and his co-authors, professors Giuseppe Soda at Bocconi University in Italy, and Ronald S Burt at the University of Chicago, wanted to test the idea that new blood can make a major impact. They looked at how new team members could boost creativity in an environment in which workers continuously and frequently collaborated for creative work, over an extended period of time.

They zeroed in on the world of television, and then on Doctor Who specifically – a science-fiction programme that first aired on the BBC in 1963.

Continue reading the original article at BBC Creativity Collective.

Read the original research in Academy of Management Journal.

Also read this AOM Insights summary citing this research.

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