Document Detail

Coming through when it matters most.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22458203     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Process    
All teams would like to think they do their best work when the stakes are highest-when the company's future or their own rests on the outcome of their projects. But too often something else happens. In extensive studies of teams at professional service firms, Harvard Business School's Gardner has seen the same pattern emerge over and over: Teams become increasingly concerned with the risks of failure rather than the requirements of excellence. As a result, they revert to safe, standard approaches instead of delivering original solutions tailored to clients' needs. Gardner has a name for this phenomenon: the performance pressure paradox. Here's how it develops: As pressure mounts, team members start driving toward consensus in ways that shut out vital information. Without even realizing it, they give more weight to shared knowledge and dismiss specialized expertise, such as insights into the client's technologies, culture, and aspirations. The more generically inclined the team becomes, the more concerned the client grows, which turns up the pressure and pushes the team even further down the generic road. But forewarned is forearmed. By measuring each person's contribution deliberately, ruthlessly insisting that no one's contribution be marginalized, and framing new information within familiar contexts, teams can escape the performance pressure paradox and keep doing their best work when it matters most.
Heidi K Gardner
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Harvard business review     Volume:  90     ISSN:  0017-8012     ISO Abbreviation:  Harv Bus Rev     Publication Date:  2012 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-03-30     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9875796     Medline TA:  Harv Bus Rev     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  82-6, 88, 90-1 passim     Citation Subset:  H    
Harvard Business School, USA.
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