Evan, Conner, Alexis, Derek, and Judy had been team members for only one week, but they felt that they were already working well together. Upper rnan-' agement at their company, Advert.ja medium-sized marketing firm, picked the five employees for a special project: the development of a commercial promotfig the launch of a client's 60-inch plasma flat-screen television. The project was especially critical because the television company was one of Advert's most important clients, and the firm's revenues had been slipping lately due to a few poor ad campaigns. Needless to say,upper management at Advert wanted the ,', team to hit a home run with the project.
Upper management didn't have any trouble picking the five employees. All were bright, talented individuals who came up with creative ideas. More important, reasoned the top managers, the employees were similar on a number of characteristics. Evan, Conner, Alexis, Derek, and Judy were around the same age, had worked for the company for about the same amount of time, and because they all tended to be sociable, friendly, and valued getting along with others, their personalities seemed to mesh as well.
To give the team' creative room, management allowed them as much autonomy as possible. It gave the team the freedom to see the project through from start to finish-corning up with their own ideas, hiring someone to film the commercial once the idea was in place, creating and maintaining a budget, and presenting the final commercial to the client. Advert's top managers had already met with and .assured the client that it was in good hands with this team.
Excited to begin working, the' team decided to meet in person to discuss ideas for the commercial. Conner, who was used to leading others in his previous work groups, took the head seat at the group's table. Immediately, he told the group his idea for the commercial.
"I've been thinking about this a lot since I wasfirst told about the project," he said. "I know our...
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