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Why Every Office Needs an Outsider

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the he-put-my-stapler-in-Jell-O-again dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 81

Research has shown that having an oddball team member not only gives you someone to make fun of, but also leads to better decision making. Researcher Katie Liljenquist, says having "socially distinct newcomers" on a team can help it perform at a higher level. Team tension is crucial, and shaking up the same old crowd is the way to create it. "You can imagine if you work in an office and you've got this outsider like Dwight Schrute who walks in and a lot of his ideas resonate with you. Your fellow in-group members are hearing this and thinking, 'Wait, you agree with Dwight?' That can be really uncomfortable and socially threatening," she says.

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It's also nice.... (5, Funny)

Quantos (1327889) | more than 5 years ago | (#27494503)

To have another scapegoat that you can blame stuff on too :)

Re:It's also nice.... (3, Funny)

schon (31600) | more than 5 years ago | (#27496333)

another scapegoat that you can blame stuff on too

Ah, Tibor, [wikia.com] how many times have you saved my butt?

They're called testers (2, Insightful)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 5 years ago | (#27494535)

And there's more than enough of them!

Oddballs (-1, Offtopic)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 5 years ago | (#27495013)

Are also called testicles, and most offices lack them.

me? (5, Insightful)

purpleque (948533) | more than 5 years ago | (#27494567)

If you keep looking for the outsider and can't find one...it might be you.

Re:me? (3, Insightful)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 5 years ago | (#27494865)

There is one common element in all your failed relationships and careers...

You...

Re:me? (2, Funny)

Haoie (1277294) | more than 5 years ago | (#27495173)

Oh dear.

It's high school all over again!! Ahhhh!!

Re:me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27495373)

You want high school all over again? Come to law school!

Terrible camera work (3, Interesting)

ChronosWS (706209) | more than 5 years ago | (#27494571)

Whoever was shooting that video, please... put down the camera and walk away. You clearly don't know what you are doing, and it sickens us to watch you. Either that or take your anti-spasmodics. I don't know how you managed to do it, but the most interesting bits - the stopping and starting - you managed to effectively miss. Did you even know what your subject was or why it would be interesting? Apparently not. Go home, please.

Re:Terrible camera work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27494585)

BItch, bitch, bitch. Bitch!

Re:Terrible camera work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27494621)

Yes?

You called me FOUR times? WTF?

Re:Terrible camera work (2, Informative)

KanSer (558891) | more than 5 years ago | (#27497933)

No kidding. One can jury rig a steady-cam (Stick + Counterweight = steady-cam) for like $15.00. Even if you only shoot video casually for shits and giggles you should have one. If you intend to publish it to a real audience then for god's sake make one.

Or spend $850 on a Merlin and honestly get your money's worth on the first shoot if you're a "professional".

Re:Terrible camera work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27499985)

Wait, TFA included a Michael Bay film?

Dwight Schrute (4, Insightful)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 5 years ago | (#27494609)

"You can imagine if you work in an office and you've got this outsider like Dwight Schrute who walks in and a lot of his ideas resonate with you. Your fellow in-group members are hearing this and thinking, 'Wait, you agree with Dwight?' That can be really uncomfortable and socially threatening."

Socially threatening because Dwight Schrute is a sociopathic cat killer who delights in blocking fire exits and pulling the alarm. A better choice could have been chosen. Michael, for instance.

Re:Dwight Schrute (1, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#27495625)

The cat was sick. It was a MERCY KILLING!

Re:Dwight Schrute (1)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 5 years ago | (#27495809)

I sang him a lullaby!

Re:Dwight Schrute (1)

NickyGotz22 (1427691) | more than 5 years ago | (#27495929)

"Beats. Bears. Battlestar Galactica" Its how I live.

Re:Dwight Schrute (1)

Shrike82 (1471633) | more than 5 years ago | (#27502019)

The cat was sick. It was a MERCY KILLING!

Whoever modded this troll - I'm sorry, but you sir, are a moron.

False. (3, Funny)

D Ninja (825055) | more than 5 years ago | (#27494665)

Alright! Who put my stapler in the Jello again!

Re:False. (2, Funny)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 5 years ago | (#27495829)

uhh, how do you know it was me?

Outsiders don't have to be assholes (5, Insightful)

cryfreedomlove (929828) | more than 5 years ago | (#27494695)

I agree that outsiders can shake an organization out of inbred complacency. However, Dwight Schrute is an anti-social asshole. The most effective outsiders don't need to be an asshole to have the positive effect this article is calling for.

Re:Outsiders don't have to be assholes (4, Interesting)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 5 years ago | (#27494869)

While I also agree that Dwight is a poor example, sometimes the outsider does have to be an asshole.

The only way I've found to break through an echo chamber is by being enough of a jerk that everyone gets jolted out of their little world for a while.

Re:Outsiders don't have to be assholes (4, Interesting)

fructose (948996) | more than 5 years ago | (#27495139)

Exactly. The perfect outsider is the one who is socially acceptable, technically competent, but isn't scared to ask 'Why are we doing this?' When you have a group of people that think the same, always agree, and don't deviate from the norm, you won't grow. If you have one person that frequently asks why or enjoys being the devil's advocate, then you get get change. Without change, you can never grow from where you are.

Of course, some people are just asses. And those people need to be, uh, wiped off the books.

So to speak.

Re:Outsiders don't have to be assholes (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27495317)

Who the heck is Dwight Schurte and why does everyone here seem to know him? Do you all work at the same company?

Re:Outsiders don't have to be assholes (2, Insightful)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 5 years ago | (#27495849)

We all work in The Office. Don't you?

Re:Outsiders don't have to be assholes (1)

publiclurker (952615) | more than 5 years ago | (#27496687)

I would consider it an improvement to work in The Office. Hell, I'd settle for a cubicle next to Wally.

Re:Outsiders don't have to be assholes (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | more than 5 years ago | (#27497057)

He's the American version of Gareth Keenan.

(OK, I admit I had to look that up on imdb.)

Crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27494705)

Of all the characters on The Office, I'd always considered Dwight Schrute to be most like me...

Hell, he reads Tolkien, is decently armed, is a pretty good table tennis player, and has loads of esoteric knowledge. Once you grow up and get beyond immediate likability, you realize he's a pretty decent guy.

Now that guy Jim is just annoying.

Re:Crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27496585)

I agree... however I wholeheartedly agree with Jim's pranks on Dwight - he's just asking for it.

I totally disagree! (-1, Troll)

Samschnooks (1415697) | more than 5 years ago | (#27494793)

I was one of the most successful Presidents EVAR! And I did it by surrounding myself with 'yes' men.

Now stop misunderestimating me!

- George W.

Re:I totally disagree! (2, Insightful)

Nutria (679911) | more than 5 years ago | (#27495007)

Now stop misunderestimating me!

- George W.

As compared to the current President who thinks that Austrians speak Austrian, and is totally lost without a teleprompter?

Re:I totally disagree! (2, Informative)

Swizec (978239) | more than 5 years ago | (#27495179)

But Austrians do speak Austrian. Just like americans don't actually speak real english.

This will of course get modded flamebait because american mods like to think they speak real english.

Re:I totally disagree! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27495465)

I too am sycce of ðe gecorrupeted Middle Anglice he spaeken in ðe Prydishen Isles!

Re:I totally disagree! (2, Insightful)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 5 years ago | (#27496107)

Perfect example of nonsense...no linguist (I'm sure you're not familiar with terms like AAVE, AE, or SAE. That would be African-American Vernacular ENGLISH, American ENGLISH, and Southern American ENGLISH. You may notice the keywords ENGLISH) or anyone else who wasn't blatantly trying to defend Obama would agree with you.

Just think of the urban legend about Dan Quayle and Latin in Latin America. Many people still actually believe that one. Obama makes a stupid comment and the chattering classes go crazy coming up with explanations to defend him.

Re:I totally disagree! (1)

Swizec (978239) | more than 5 years ago | (#27496197)

If they weren't different they'd be called English and wouldn't require special names. The fact they have names that are SO special hints at the fact they've become much more than mere accents.

And that's saying a lot, since here in Europe we're used to accents being so different people from different regions of the same country can hardly understand each other. The fact your accents are so discrepant they need to be called something other than accents could well mean they've become a language in their own right.

And they should, a nation that big really deserves a language of its own.

Re:I totally disagree! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27497805)

If they weren't different they'd be called English and wouldn't require special names

Nonsense again. One gets the feeling that when you're discussing this topic you're picking arbitrary word definitions to whatever standards you feel like, and acting as if they are the gospel truth. What, pray tell, is "English." Who speaks "English." The English? Somebody from London or somebody from County Durham? If I pronounce tomato differently than you do, are we speaking two languages?

These are all questions asked--and answered!--very ably by people who aren't just speaking off the cuff when trying to defend a politician's statement.

The fact your accents are so discrepant they need to be called something other than accents could well mean they've become a language in their own right.

Interesting, I never realized that in Europe they didn't use words to describe different accents. That's really interesting--how do people differentiate accents without descriptors? (tongue in cheek). Look, you're just missing the point. Americans speak English. If you are a linguist and want to get picky about it, we speak variants such as Southern English, non-rhotic Boston English, Midwestern English, African-American English, etc. Whether you're from Australia, Canada, England, Alabama, Rhode Island, New Zealand, South Africa, whever, chances are, you speak English. Yeah, it's possible that were it not for globalization one day the languages would branch and diverge, but that's really the opposite trend from whatl inguists notice. Anyway, this is way off-topic. Americans speak English, not "American," and Austrians speak German, not "Austrian." End of story. It was a dumb statement. Either a gaffe, a slip, or just an exclamation of ignorance/lack of knowledge--I don't know which, and I don't really care that much.

And they should, a nation that big really deserves a language of its own.

Tell that to the Dutch. Or the Swiss. Or Indians. etc. You're REALLY now promoting some outdated ethno-linguistic centered definition of nation? Ein volk, huh? I'm hoping you're just being sarcastic on this :)

Re:I totally disagree! (1)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 5 years ago | (#27497813)

Er, my last post went through anonymously for some reason (lapsus calami). It was me :)

Re:I totally disagree! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27499649)

And yet, we English speakers can all enjoy an episode of Friends, followed up by Monty Python, then Road Warrior, finally ending in Terence and Philips to cap off a night. I suppose we need to study each language before we can understand the subtleties but I manage to enjoy it all.(of course I need to sleep the next day).

Re:I totally disagree! (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 5 years ago | (#27500431)

Well, I think someone from Northern Germany will probably not understand someone really speaking Austrian (as opposed to speaking standard German with a mere Austrian accent).

Re:I totally disagree! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27496259)

And the bait takes flame!

You might not have noticed, but each of your examples includes a qualifier, i.e. something that distinguishes the example from its base form. So you have ENGLISH -- to use your qualified form, that would be "English ENGLISH" -- which is the base, and then the variants that are based on it, such as "American ENGLISH".

Re:I totally disagree! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27498871)

And the bait takes flame!

The last resort of losers in online discussions is to smugly say things like this (especially when posting as AC pretending to be the GP)

Re:I totally disagree! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27499575)

Dan Quayle? Don't get me started!

When he was George Bush Senior's VP, he made so many erroneous, drunken and otherwise laughable
statements that I was able to buy (someone was able to profit from selling) a 30-minute videotape
collection in the comedy section of the video store.

And that was before his most famous potato moment.

                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTwAGmDLW4M [youtube.com] (within the first 20 seconds)

I think the video producers were able to make a Volume II.

Re:I totally disagree! (2, Insightful)

DreamsAreOkToo (1414963) | more than 5 years ago | (#27496201)

What's "real english?"

If England (the root word of English) started speaking only a modified Latin, would that language be "english?"

Or maybe, American's speak "real english" because there's more people who speak American English than there are who speak any other type of English?

Or maybe, instead of inane nitpicking about "real english" we can just recognize it for what it is, a regional accent.

Besides, I think British English is more corrupt than American English, innit?

Re:I totally disagree! (1)

Swizec (978239) | more than 5 years ago | (#27496401)

Real English would be Old English spoken by the tribes of Angol that settled the British Isles before the Saxon invasion in whenever that was. Barely anyone is still able to understand it.

Since that english no longer exists we can safely assume its closest approximation is the english currently spoken by the people in southern regions of the main British Island. This is the English that spread to the rest of the world and was then simplified by American settlers due to them being largely non-native english speakers and english being the simplest of available languages to learn since it has some french, it has some whatever and so on.

With time English became lingua franca of the New World and continued to evolve from there into what is fast becoming more than just a regional accent since American English is starting to change grammatical structures and whatnot.

Of course I am no linguist, but the English language happens to be a hobby of mine.

Re:I totally disagree! (4, Informative)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 5 years ago | (#27496487)

Or maybe, instead of inane nitpicking about "real english" we can just recognize it for what it is, a regional accent.

It's not a "regional accent", it's a dialect. An "accent" is how you pronounce words. A "dialect" is a different version of a language, such as Castillian Spanish, used in Spain, compared to Mexican Spanish, used in Mexico. Accents and dialects frequently go together, but not always. Southern Americans speak standard American English (with a little regional variation in words, but not enough to be called a separate dialect), but with a Southern accent.

Re:I totally disagree! (1)

joelmax (1445613) | more than 5 years ago | (#27501475)

I wish I had mod points to mod you up on this one.

Re:I totally disagree! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27504673)

Calling a dialect an accent is part of my regional dialect--err, accent--err, dialect--err... you insensitive clod!

Re:I totally disagree! (1)

highonv8splash (1054018) | more than 5 years ago | (#27527499)

Or maybe, instead of inane nitpicking about grammar we can just recognize it for what it is, insignificant.

Re:I totally disagree! (0, Flamebait)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#27497073)

Besides, I think British English is more corrupt than American English, innit?

Eh, snooker or pool, it's all about the spin.

Re:I totally disagree! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27505043)

Nah. It's all about the table size, pockets, and ball size.

Re:I totally disagree! (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#27506595)

Besides, I think British English is more corrupt than American English, innit?

Eh, snooker or pool, it's all about the spin.

Flamebait? Perhaps the joke was too subtle? Here's a definition list which should help with the many levels of humor (or humour) that was being attempted.

pool(2)
7. Any of several games played on a six-pocket billiards table usually with 15 object balls and a cue ball. Also called pocket billiards.
snooker
1. a variety of pool played with 15 red balls and 6 balls of colors other than red, in which a player must shoot one of the red balls, each with a point value of 1, into a pocket before shooting at one of the other balls, with point values of from 2 to 7.
2. Slang. to deceive, cheat, or dupe: to be snookered by a mail order company.
1889, the game and the word said to have been invented in India by British officers as a diversion from billiards. The name is perhaps an allusion (with reference to the rawness of play by a fellow officer) to British slang snooker "newly joined cadet" (1872). Tradition ascribes the coinage to Col. Sir Neville Chamberlain (not the later prime minister of the same name), at the time subaltern in the Devonshire Regiment in Jubbulpore. The verb meaning "to cheat" is from early 1900s, probably because novices can be easily tricked in the game.
English
4. the Germanic language of the British Isles, widespread and standard also in the U.S. and most of the British Commonwealth, historically termed Old English (c450-c1150), Middle English (c1150-c1475), and Modern English (after c1475). Abbreviation: E
8. Sports. (sometimes lowercase)
a. a spinning motion imparted to a ball, esp. in billiards.
spin
4. to cause to turn around rapidly, as on an axis; twirl; whirl: to spin a coin on a table.
11. Slang. to cause to have a particular bias; influence in a certain direction: His assignment was to spin the reporters after the president's speech.

And lastly, to put english (spin) on a ball corrupts (alters) its course. Similarly, spinning a speech alters and corrupts its intended meaning.

Now where's the flamebait in that?

Re:I totally disagree! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27513901)

If you want to go by numbers, there are more Indians who speak English than there are people in North America. (I mean Indians as in Apu, not indians as in Geronimo.)

Re:I totally disagree! (1)

codeButcher (223668) | more than 5 years ago | (#27500611)

Austrians speak Austrian as much as Australians speak Australian. Hope your head hurts now.

There's no such thing as Austrian, only Austrian German [wikipedia.org] , with a language code of de-AT often used. Note the de, which denotes Deutsch (German).

Re:I totally disagree! (1)

cstdenis (1118589) | more than 5 years ago | (#27495231)

He may need a teleprompter, but at least when he has one he can talk without sounding like a complete idiot.

IMO, that's still a major improvement.

Re:I totally disagree! (0, Flamebait)

Nutria (679911) | more than 5 years ago | (#27496875)

He may need a teleprompter, but at least when he has one he can talk without sounding like a complete idiot.

You forgot about the "thank you" speech, and "liberty, [looooong pause] egalitie, fraternite" .

The guy might be the smartest man in the known universe, but the guy, a politician no less, so smooth that people swooned over him, can't even memorize the basic outline of a speech (because otherwise he would have noticed that he wasn't reading his own speech).

Re:I totally disagree! (1)

pdabbadabba (720526) | more than 5 years ago | (#27495277)

I've always wondered: what exactly is the evidence that Obama is dependent on a teleprompter? Every president in recent memory has used one...

Also, the author of this [wikipedia.org] Wikipedia entry seems to think Austrians speak Austrian as well. (Though I don't dispute that it is just a variant of German). If this even is a gaffe, it certainly doesn't hold up in a comparison with Bush's gems.

Re:I totally disagree! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27495621)

no no no -- austrians come from australia and thus must speak australian -- http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-480494/Bush-confuses-Austria-Australia-latest-gaffe.html [dailymail.co.uk]

Re:I totally disagree! (1)

retchdog (1319261) | more than 5 years ago | (#27495973)

Thank you for putting things back in perspective.

Re:I totally disagree! (1)

sesshomaru (173381) | more than 5 years ago | (#27496039)

Yes, George W. Bush was much more intelligent, poised and talented than Barack Obama. That anyone could think otherwise just proves the grip of extreme, hard-core, Obama-style Communism on their soul. There is no other explanation. It's frightening, really.

Re:I totally disagree! (1)

Nutria (679911) | more than 5 years ago | (#27496925)

that anyone could think otherwise

Except that I never said that W was smarter than B.O.

Re:I totally disagree! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27505223)

Can someone please mark this as funny? This is the funniest thing I've read today so far.

Team Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27494975)

Seems like we could make use of a well-groomed, outgoing 'people person' who can sell used cars and convince girls to go on dates just for fun. Imagine what we could blame on him.

They're called consultants (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27495217)

At least that's what we call them in my company!

GM, Chrysler, AIG (2, Insightful)

daveywest (937112) | more than 5 years ago | (#27495289)

I bet all these companies really appreciate the input from the new guy, Barrack.

Re:GM, Chrysler, AIG (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27495439)

what?... I understand what you mean, but how is that in any way relevant to the current discussion?

Hockey Eh? (1)

creativeHavoc (1052138) | more than 5 years ago | (#27495417)

This has been evident in sports teams for ages. Great teams grow complaisant, new talent is brought in. It can be in the form of players, coaching staff, or upper management (GM) !news

Having been an outsider many times (3, Insightful)

plopez (54068) | more than 5 years ago | (#27495733)

I can tell you it's hell.

Until you quit and then you get that "I've been released from prison" feeling.

It's especially nice when 6 to 12 months later you hear that your boss got fired due to all the problems you tried to warn him about destroying the project and or his general incompetence.

Re:Having been an outsider many times (1)

bobstreo (1320787) | more than 5 years ago | (#27497335)

Ob Joni Mitchell lyrics:

I've looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
It's cloud illusions I recall
I really don't know clouds at all

Lesson Learned: It's more important to be nice than to get anything (useful) accomplished

My work-life is an unending series of old Dilbert comics

Re:Having been an outsider many times (1)

KlomDark (6370) | more than 5 years ago | (#27498135)

> Lesson Learned: It's more important to be nice than to get anything (useful) accomplished

Say what?? That's a slave's mentality.

Re:Having been an outsider many times (1)

ThatFunkyMunki (908716) | more than 5 years ago | (#27502989)

I think the correct term is slave morality

Re:Having been an outsider many times (2, Interesting)

KlomDark (6370) | more than 5 years ago | (#27498095)

Woohoo! No shit! I thought I LOVED my last job. Got laid off (aka canned) basically for "not conforming." Was devastated, really didn't see it coming. Spent three months out of work, which was terrifying in this economy. Even though I'm usually pretty confident in my abilities, this time it really shook my confidence.

But... Got a job in January (Of all months!! It's tough to get a job in January in a GOOD economy!) with a very well known company, and although I dropped "in title", my actual work responsibilities are far more - Like architect/lead engineer.

Just put my first app (Which I wrote all DAL/BLL/Presentation layer, with much kudos to the DB guy who I worked with - he's been with the company long enough to actually know the data of the company, without which I would have failed miserably! I can write stored procs all day long, but there's the harder part of actually knowing the data.) for the new company into production yesterday, did a presentation for really upper management today - and they were ECSTATIC about it!!! I was really amazed, having been the "bad kid" for way too long at the last place.

My confidence is back, I just got a second guy (contractor for now) to start on my "team" yesterday who had been out of work for 5 months, so I also get the warm fuzzy of helping out a guy in need. (And never knew him until yesterday, he moved over 1000 miles to take the job, so no "nepotism" type stuff going on.)

And, I've heard the old place is really having a lot of trouble now. (Best of luck to them, really! They are deep down the wrong path.) So although I wondered if my career had come to a complete halt when I was terminated, instead it was the best thing that's happened in a long time. So I totally get the "I've been released from prison" feeling! :)

aka Diversity (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27495835)

Actually TFA is too narrow. The real key is avoiding a hegemony. From the Stanford Business School:

In fact, the worst kind of group for an organization that wants to be innovative and creative is one in which everyone is alike and gets along too well," she says. And the key to making nearly any kind of diversity work is managing it well.

http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/news/research/hr_neale_groupdiversity.shtml

The Outsider (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27495937)

My office has an outsider... in fact my office has the Outsider... from the The Outsider [dagonbytes.com] , by H. P. Lovecraft...

And not only that... it's me!

As a Contract Developer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27496105)

As a Contract Developer, I find this is one of my useful roles. I've sometimes played to the outsider role on purpose to also ask the obvious questions to make sure they have thought everything through and to make sure things don't get missed. I often find assumptions that were being made that people just hadn't thought about because of the pace of the project or just being in the middle of it.

Michael Crichton's Andromeda Strain (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 5 years ago | (#27497099)

Someone has been reading really old science fiction. May be just old rerun of the movie.

You can't be an outsider... (1)

Ronald Dumsfeld (723277) | more than 5 years ago | (#27497181)

...until you have read The Outsider [wikipedia.org] .

Outsiders suck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27498021)

They're not as durable as interns. If you accidentally kill an Outsider, they can't be resurrected. Ask me how I know. *snif*

My Boss (1)

kramulous (977841) | more than 5 years ago | (#27499171)

My Boss is the outsider. See, the rest of us are the misfits. It gets quite amusing when he suggests some new 'protocol' and we all leap in to denounce it. He gets this strange glazed-eye look. He works from home quite a bit.

We had an outsider come in. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27500745)

She annoys almost everyone in the office. She needs to be taught and retaught proper etiquette when dealing with our clients. She nods her head in understanding while eavesdropping on other conversations on technical topics of which she has not the first clue.

Probably not the type of outsider the article mentions. (Was there one? Not like I read the articles, or summaries for that matter.)

This is why.. (1)

Dynamoo (527749) | more than 5 years ago | (#27500925)

This is why you build teams from people with distinctly different personalities. In the UK sometimes Belbin Profiles [wikipedia.org] are used to ensure a mix of people that creates a group dynamic (i.e. tension as opposed to complacency). An "outsider" might perform the role of a Plant, Monitor Evaluator or Resource Investigator because of their slightly detached status. Plants can be exceptionally useful as they will provide new ideas which can be looked into, they key thing is that a good Plant is unorthodox and usually doesn't mind if ideas are fairly evaluated and rejected.

The are other team evaluation systems out there, but ultimately they all exist to make sure that your team has some sort of internal dynamic.

the book Sway talks about this (1)

mcguyver (589810) | more than 5 years ago | (#27505693)

The book Sway has an interesting article on this subject. In it, comparisons are drawn from the supreme court, flight crews on airplanes and the character Cameron in the movie Ferris Buelers Day Off. In all situations youâ(TM)ll find a âblockerâ(TM) or someone in the group that makes up an excuse to why something canâ(TM)t be done. The fact that someone has a dissenting opinion is insignificant. Whatâ(TM)s important is that _someone_ have a dissenting opinion. This causes the decision maker to reflect on their choice. I guess in retrospect itâ(TM)s all pretty obvious but itâ(TM)s interesting to see real world examples back up the ideaâ¦
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