links for 2009-02-20

  • Invariably, groups that had the bad apple would perform worse. And this despite the fact that were people in some groups that were very talented, very smart, very likeable. Felps found that the bad apple’s behavior had a profound effect — groups with bad apples performed 30 to 40 percent worse than other groups. On teams with the bad apple, people would argue and fight, they didn’t share relevant information, they communicated less.

    Even worse, other team members began to take on the bad apple’s characteristics. When the bad apple was a jerk, other team members would begin acting like a jerk. When he was a slacker, they began to slack, too. And they wouldn’t act this way just in response to the bad apple. They’d act this way to each other, in sort of a spillover effect.

    (tags: community)

2 thoughts on “links for 2009-02-20

  1. I woke up this morning, ready for a relaxing Sunday of reading and working on some projects. I read the MLs as usual, and happened across a rather unpleasant exchange. It seemed pretty low, even for our MLs. It’s surprising how quickly it lowered not only my opinion of today’s “bad apple” but also my own mood.

    I imagined this person as a restaurant manager whose staff had misunderstood his directions. Today’s exchange was the equivalent of standing in the middle of the restaurant and bitching out the help in a loud voice. Not only do you lose the confidence of that worker, but of other workers who witness the act. You’re likely to lose customers and future workers, as word inevitably gets around.

    At Gentoo, the most talented and knowledgeable among us really do set the tone for not only the dev community but the broader community at large (of which I’m a part). Everyone would benefit from a more cordial and cooperative atmosphere.

  2. @djanderson

    Well, actually – the one bitching out the help in a loud voice is actually not working in that restaurant (some may forget about this), and in fact – atmosphere among *workers* in that restaurant is really not that bad neither.

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