Teamdividualism and the basic concepts for the development of innovation

In 2006 I wrote along with Alfons Cornella the book ‘La Alquimia de la Innovación’ (‘The alchemy of innovation’); in which we described 10 words or contexts that we both considered to be fundamental for the development of innovation and strategy in companies; words like hybridation, authentic/honest, teamdividualism, territory/frontier, ephemeral/effervescent, capillarity, catalysis, failure, radical and innovators were characterized according to their content by means of conversations between both of us. As time went by, two of them have been especially celebrated and spread, so they have acquired new senses and values: hybridation and teamdividualism.

As regards the concept of hybridation, it refers to an increasingly complex world in which more elaborate products and services are required. Hybridation becomes a key concept to avoid starting from scratch, for the continuous evolution of knowledge. It is a strategy to make the most of the existing knowledge, to unify the objectives of technology and business vision.

Teamdividualism was a concept coined by Loop during the development of a project for the introduction of the Nespresso model in offices; by using this kind of Saxon neologism we were trying to define a new model of organization structuring that could favour the relation between individual work (inspiration, conception of new ideas) and collective work (the development of those tasks) in search of systemic innovation by influencing on the relational model among people. Within the frame of the previous project, the concept was closely related with the work dynamics, the distribution of offices, their furniture, etc. In short, it dealt with creating new forms of relationship and professional status.

From a more strategic viewpoint, Teamdividualism is also the reflection on the passage from structures based on the individuality and encouraging brightness in people’s ideas to the stage of big research teams; as both have turned out to be insufficient in a world that is increasingly global and interconnected, in which knowledge flows more rapidly than our capacity of assimilating it and in which its hybridation becomes essential for competitiveness and the generation of new knowledge.

Teamdividualism combines personal initiative with collective work, initiation with execution; it constitutes in some sense the embryo of the concept developed in the post ‘Are you an initiator or an executant?’ and it names the best aspect of the individual’s inspiration after the best aspect of organizations to develop ideas. It is the union between inspiration and transpiration.

Another dimension of this concept is the organizations’ reflection to structure and destructure teams with a view to exploiting market’s opportunities, giving up verticalization in favour of horizontality, encouraging the search for talent (individualism) all over the world in order to complement the local structure (team). It is in some sense a new way of relating talent with companies, of redefining the concept of partner / supplier, of working in near and far positions, of the local and the global.

In the personal dimension, it is a way of recognizing the involvement in projects: The management of people by recognizing a certain management of egos and maximizing motivations and rewards for team work. In short, the recognition of the binomial individual-team.
The concept of teamdividualism is to the structure of people what hybridation is to the management of knowledge; from my point of view, they are two of the cornerstones to define ‘the ideal company’ of the future, a company that could be able to manage knowledge and infrastructure appropriately, the combination between local and global aspects and between management of opportunity and business development.




Mª Luisa Vives – Jaime Gross

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