Build Teams With Better Ideas

Do your followers on Twitter effect how you come up with ideas at work? Our knee jerk reaction is “absolutely not” but social networks are now how we communicate with most of our friend group. That means of the people that you associate with online are the people who help form your opinions and even effect (however subconsciously) how your brain arrives at them. Having a diverse group of people that you only know incidentally (so you don’t have strong, emotional bonds to them) helps you gather more opinions and think critically about which make the most sense to you. And this, according to many studies, helps you come up with better ideas in all areas of your life.

Steve Jobs was once the CEO of Pixar Animation Studios (while also at Apple) and he made sure when they were designing new offices that the layout encouraged employees to leave their desks often and mingle with each other, in groups that didn’t stay the same. It’s a tall order, but good design can give us these impulses, and Jobs knew that when people are confronted by others that they don’t know well on a daily basis, their capacity for new and interesting thought dramatically increases.

So what does this mean for social media and your business? You can’t exactly curate your employees’ followers to make sure they hear diverse ideas. However, this can be one of a myriad of things you check social media for during the hiring process. You can also do what Jobs did, and encourage your employees to mingle outside their friend groups. If your office isn’t built for it, organize an outing or team building exercise that promotes communication! Your business will definitely thank you for it!