Thursday, 24 December 2009

Problem Solving With Diversity

In "We Think", Charles Leadbetter considers combining people with different thinking tools/skills to help solve problems. He writes "The larger the group and the more diverse perspectives are involved, the greater the benefits from combining them. Take five people, each with a different skill. That gives ten possible pairings of skills. Add a sixth person with a different skill. That gives not 12 pairs but another five possible pairings... A group with 20 different tools at its disposal has 190 possible pairs of tools and more than 1000 combinations of three tools. A group with 13 tools has almost as many tools - 87% - as a group with 15 tools. Not much of a gap. But if a task requires combining four tools it is a different story. The group with 15 tools has 1365 possible combinations of four tools. The group with 13 tools has 715, or about 52%. Groups with larger sets of diverse tools and skills are at an advantage if they can combine effectively to take on complex tasks."
This concept of creativity through diversity could be a key advantage of Interactive Democracy, which seeks to integrate the thoughts, opinions and values of millions of people.

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