@Lustforlife prompted me to find an article I had read stating that research suggested that work groups containing a member with ADHD significantly outperformed those without one.
While I couldn’t find the original article, I found this one which may have been based on the same research.
“The groups containing an ADHD student were far more likely to solve the problems than were the control groups! In fact, 14 of the 16 groups (88%) containing an ADHD student solved both problems, and none (0%) of the 6 control groups did. This result was significant at the p < .0001 level, meaning that there is less than one chance in 10,000 that such a large difference, with this many groups, would occur by chance.”
It’s a form of team game where you’re locked in a room for one hour, full of random, obscure puzzles, and by solving them, your challenge is to escape before the hour is up. Hence, escape room. Personally, I wish it was possible to do one by myself, just to test how I would do. But that’s usually against the rules. You usually have to be minimum 2-3 people, max 4-8, depending on the place.
We switch way fast between different kinds of tasks and random stuff, more associative thinking and abstract stuff just ‘connecting’ in the mind. Maybe that’s why I wish I could try once on my own, just to see if I could do it.
I was homeschooled from 2nd-8th grade by my ADHD-adjacent mom, and when I popped back up for 9th grade, no one thought to teach me any aspect of how school works, by which I mean… how does a locker lock work? How does a five-paragraph essay work? How does your planner work? How does it work if you share all of your aperçus with the entire 9th grade bio class vs. if you DO NOT? (100% props to ADHD for picking up all information immediately in super stressful situations.)
My point is: I learned the weird way how to be a dual citizen of ADHD-land and No-ADHD-Allowed-Land. These kids will eventually sharpen their diplomatic skills (the sharper the aperçu, the sharper the need for diplomacy!), but in the meantime, I wish I could give them all a hug.
This research probably isn’t much of a surprise to most of us here because we know what we’re capable of, on a good day. But it’s nice to have it PROVEN. By SCIENCE.
To the question about why to have mixed groups at all (can’t we just go solve the problems and cut out those non-brains altogether?), I think mixed groups are indeed best. They need us to propel their thinking into new quarters, and we need them to reel us in every now and then and give us structure.
Just yesterday, incidentally, I had an interesting conversation with an office neighbor in the office kitchen (and yes, I’m still giddy I’m having office conversations now). He posited that start-ups work best as long as there are creative leaders who do all kinds of not-work-related-looking stuff at the risk of being high-maintenance and disorganized, as well as well-organized worker bees who keep the day-to-day going and make sure the creative types don’t sell the company to invest in, I don’t know, mechanical bees or something. But as the company evolves and gets more established, the organized types become more powerful and eventually gain control about the workplace and how it’s organized. That’s when fixed office hours, dress codes and spreadsheets take hold.
“The thing is”, he said and I’m totally pretending he said it in those words, “the creative types know they need the organized ones, but the organized ones think they’d do better without those chaotic minds.”
I don’t know about workplaces, I haven’t been in one for long enough, but I can see how this plays out in other structures, too. My favorite example are office hours. Also, school hours. School hours are even better as an example. We know from studies that kids learn best after 10AM, so why do we force them to clock in at eight or even 7:30?
And why are most offices only open to the public in the morning when most of said public are guaranteed to be at work or at school or in bed and have to take extra organisational steps to make it to an appointment? It’s counterintuitive if you think about it.
The answer to both questions: Those are old established structures where the organized ones (the morning people, as I call them) have taken control. They’re the ones who thrive in these structures, and because they do, they get to perpetuate these structures for all of us to follow or fail at. And, yes, school plays an important role in preparing us for that.
This kind of htinking has become so established, in fact, that we all buy into the ideology that those who can’t live by these structures are “unorganized”, “lazy” and unreliable and shouldn’t be taken into account anyway.
I’m stopping this rant before i get into how they’ve created a whole world based on the ideology that they don’t need us but they still need us if only to point out how that world is all about exchanging goods to make money to afford goods and keep those structures going and how ridiculous that looks from the outside. This post is long enough as is.
YES THANK YOU. Side-eyeing every article about “Why You Shouldn’t Write Off That ADHD Kid Just Yet”: “Their mercifully high chance of becoming an entrepreneur! Virgin Airlines!” Oh phew, I was wondering where my value as a living creature came from.
Steve Jobs was a case in point here… Sacked from Apple when his intangible asset (his creativity) could not be quantified on a spreadsheet.
Modern corporate ideals have no room for anything that is not quantifiably contributive to a short term bottom line.
Additionally, corporations are legally bound to provide an increasing value for the share holders. This means that any longer term investments in productivity or quality are dropped in favour of shorter term gains. And this leads to hugely inefficient “cash right now” versus"invest in the future" thinking.
I’ve seen it so many times… Save 50c right now, that will cost $10 to fix in a year.
So when you have people who challenge the status quo, or can see the bigger picture more clearly than a linear thinker, it causes problems for this beancounter mentality.
When linear thinkers can’t see past the ends of their noses, they assume that anyone who can is either a threat to the stability they thrive on, or just plain too stupid to see what they find so obvious.
But it’s the not-so-obvious stuff that has the capability of producing works of genius, or advancement instead of stagnation.
It’s all about the stability of what has been done, versus the chaos of change. That system has been in place since farmers started milking cows at dawn, or carpenters needed daylight to see their work.
Productivity has been linked to an early start, and late risers have been seen as lazy. Therefore, starting work at a later hour is seen as inefficient and lazy. Make hay while the sun shines. Personally, I do my best work at around 11pm.
Flexi time is a concept that has not really taken off as well as it should have, because of this. Flexibility, and adaptability are not comfortable terms for linear thinkers to have to deal with.
Amen. School is an institution of cookie cutters to produce nice little homogenous cookies. If you end up with too many or too few chocolate chips, you end up in the reject pile.
Wrong. This course of thinking needs to be explored, expanded, and incorporated into social constructs at all levels. People need to be rewarded for thinking outside of the box instead of condemned for rocking the boat.
Stodgy, linear thinkers have their place, for sure. Stick them on the machines that make the plastic bits on the end of shoelaces. But real advancement only ever comes at the cost of comfort and tradition.
We all have value. But those that are protective of their happy little routines will always condemn those who rock the boat and threaten their comfort levels. We tend to find comfort in change, and current linear systems don’t allow for that.
It’s hard to believe you have value as a person who thinks outside of the box, when the vast majority of people value their security more than they value the uncertainty of change that can come from truly creative thinking. And even worse, they will protect that security by undermining the value of those who threaten change.
Just one note to add to this already excellent thread with lots of points I agree with and have for years:
As a B-person (look up the Danish B-society), I’ve actually looked into this quite a lot, and studies have actually shown that promotions go to those who show up at work early, like 7-8, because the management sees them there early. However, other studies have found that A-people are productive at work from 8-12 or so, and become quite tired or ineffective/inefficient in the afternoon, while B-people (if allowed to start later, according to their cycle) on average are productive from 11-18, and still have enrgy when they get home or if they need to work overtime, which means we (B-people) aren’t as good in the morning, but have far more hours of effective/efficient work time than A-people, as long as we’re allowed to work on our own schedule, or even just starting an hour or two later. An NO companies use this information to make their employees more efficient/effective. It’s asinine.
But in Denmark they did a trial with one high school starting at 9 instead of 8 (I think), and on average the ‘bad’ kids who never paid attention in the morning classes went up by a full grade (for example C to B) or so in those classes.
That’s huge… But will other schools start rescheduling classes? Unlikely. Part of it comes down to kids having to leave the house while the parents are still home. But they are OK with the kids coming home before work finishes…
And flexible working times would allow parents to have more leeway with the time they spend with their kids anyway.
For someone who was never any good in the mornings, now I wake up at 4am or so to get ready for work. Then I get back to my room at 6:30pm or so. Then, if I work night shift, the AM and PM swap around. 4pm wake up…
We order Nescafe by the pallet load. The last place I was at went through 48,000 paper cups per month. Not counting the people who used their own coffee mugs.
It goes well beyond sucking. But we all hate it, so it makes us equal, and we become used to working in a foggy haze around thousands of tons of moving steel and rocks. School prepared me for that, at least. :))
Fatgue is a major contributor to industrial incidents and fatal accidents. Every place I’ve worked at pays lip service to “fatigue management”, but if I ever told a boss that I feel like a quick snooze, I’d be given all the numbnuts jobs for the rest of the year.
Studies have shown that workplaces which allow people to have a quick nap during the day have a roughly 30% increase in productivity over those that don’t.
I had an office job one time where they brought in a few of us to shake up the company, and increase productivity (just after they sacked 70% of the staff…). My boss had grand ideas about setting up an area with beanbags and couches to chillax during the day. It was a sound idea. He knew it, we knew it.
But as soon as the CEO saw that budgets were 20% down (remember 70% fewer staff…), that idea went out the window in favour of “just work harder”. KPIs were reintroduced (Key Performance Indicators… Never based on effective actions, instead based on quantifiable numerically based indicators which may or may not have had any relationship with quality. Such as an average of 2.3 minutes per phonecall, or 3 minute toilet breaks for example. Staff are marked by how closely they get to the averages required. You mark staff by averages, and you get average).
Once again, the people that fit the mould are promoted by the people who make the mould.
My mom works as a nurse, 100% night shift, and they’re required to have a 30 min. sleep break. They can do other things if they feel like it, but it’s mandated that they be allowed to nap, specifically because you want medical staff to be 100%, and those not B-people (my mom is) can’t do that all night without a nap. Sadly some abuse the system, try to sneak an hour, an hour-and-a-half, which makes management consider trashing the idea completely…