Bullpens and War Rooms: One size doesn’t fit all

Bullpen / Fishtank / Team Room

Found this quote highlighted on one of my AM newsfeeds, in an article by Daniel Goleman, author of “Emotional Intelligence”:

“…It’s very hard to be creative on demand. Most of us need time for reflection, which requires thinking alone, without distractions. It also requires being able to breathe, think and take in the volume of information to deal with solving a problem…”

“…Let’s take a business meeting as an example. A lot can happen in a relatively short amount of time. Many interesting connections can develop. A great deal of information can be exchanged. As a result of so many stimuli, it’s sometimes hard to really focus in on a problem. Focus is particularly important when people are trying to solve an urgent creative problem…”

For me, it’s never easy to explain to my team (much less clients) why I’m not a fan of the “bullpen” approach. Being crammed into a conference room with several colleagues for days (or weeks) at a time is about as pleasant as getting a root canal without novacaine.  I understand that for many of us, the interaction and exchange of ideas without office walls or cubicle partitions is invaluable – but for me, it’s a real challenge to deal with that kind of situation on a regular basis.  It’s almost impossible for me to participate, much less contribute, and all too often my inability to interact is taken by my peers as being aloof, withdrawn, or even antagonistic.

The fact is, I always do better with as much autonomy as possible, and connecting with team members via online collaboration – either in an office behind a closed door, or remotely from my home office.

Has anyone else found themselves in a similar situation?  If so, how did you manage to get through it, and still integrate yourself into your team?  Feel free to comment below and share your experiences.

One thought on “Bullpens and War Rooms: One size doesn’t fit all”

  1. Yes! I definitely know what you are talking about. For me, when formulating ideas, I love having people around to bounce ideas off of, but once that concept is created, I need some alone time to get my creative juices flowing and make the idea come to life. My new boss isn’t a big fan of headphones, but I can’t ever think and look introspectively to come up with my best ideas when so much chatter is going on around me.

    Liked by 1 person

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