Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Seeding the crowds

Excerpts from http://www.bankstocks.com/article.asp?type=1&id=9880765

"Here are some steps to take to build a group, or team, or department that will be collectively smart:
> The more different viewpoints that can be brought to bear on a problem, the better the chances the group will hit on an optimal solution. ...research shows that a group containing individuals of varying levels of intelligence will outperform a group containing individuals who are uniformly smart.
> Disseminate information to the group the right way. ...the group will tend to put too much stock in information it’s received most recently, and tend to ignore the stuff it got earlier—even if the old information is more important. ...the group might also fall victim to the risks inherent in an “information cascade.” [I'd refer to his explanation as a tendency to "rush to judgement'.]
> ... information overload can be very relevant .
> Often team members far removed from the leader have pieces of information or viewpoints that are highly relevant in reaching the best decision. Unless those viewpoints emerge, they can’t figure in the final decision."

Image borrowed from http://penelope.aitken.tripod.com/ with many hair-tugs to the artist.

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