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Christopher Jackson | Mavericks: the champions of isolation

Illustration of distorted faces of mavericks

We should question the teamwork research juggernaut as being always suitable for all people. Putting everyone into teams can turn off your most talented people.

Christopher Jackson

Greta Thunberg, Steve Jobs, Donald Trump and Gina Rinehart all have one thing in common, they like to work alone. Mavericks are eccentric, unconventional, risk-taking, and disruptive – whilst also success oriented and goal directed. They are comfortable making decisions and persevering in actions which go against the status quo. Conventional wisdom is clear – teamwork, collaboration and diversity lead to better learning and decision making, but what happens when teamwork doesn’t make the dreamwork? Are some individuals better left alone?
 




Christopher Jackson is a Professor of Business Psychology at the UNSW Business School. His main area of research is on personality and learning – from mavericks in the workplace to survivalists – and he has published extensively on this and many other areas. Jackson is passionate about making research relevant to the wider business community and beyond.
 



A UNSW Centre for Ideas and Grand Challenges program collaboration.

Illustrations designed by Juune Lee. Filmed and edited by Paper Moose. Footage filmed at the EPICentre, a UNSW research centre located at the Art & Design campus.