Small agile teams equipped and empowered to make decisions can make a difference in ways that consensus and bureaucracy couldn't even dream of.
I wrote this on my AquaNotes this morning and since it's a morsel too long to tweet I had to get the thoughts out of my head about the subject. It's not profound in and of itself, but the opposite of it is the natural drift of growing and successful organizations.
Most often, small teams are what are able to make things that matter. The ring of collaboration is a short circumference, it's vibrant, exciting, effective, and additive. Ideas get better in this because the banter is more conversational and less oration-like. Ideas are able to be bounced off one another and plussed rather than a "you listen while this person talks, then this person, then this person" style.
I've found a lot of success in situations where it's a small group of us bantering about copywriting, conceptual art, storylines, and the like. However, when I'm in cast of too many, consensus becomes the goal (or inevitable outcome), and it becomes increasingly difficult to walk out making a ground-breaking idea.
I don't have research for this, other than my experiential evidence, but so far, for me, it rings true. The thought of "Running something up the ladder" can seem normal in a corporate world where you're not entrusted or self-trusting enough to make a decision, but that's not how innovation occurs.
Often, new ideas are hated by at least half of a group when they first come out, because risk and new are scary. But those who believe in ground-breaking, normal-busting, exciting new endeavors are those that take organizations from good to great. I want to be a part of that kind of pioneering. Anyone can be a maintainer of the status quo, but it takes effort, handwork, wit, and an agile group of like-minded people to make something truly remarkable.