Tuesday, 5 August 2008

The Wisdom of the Crowd (Aug 08)

What is wisdom for you?
· Wisdom is a combination of insight, experience, underpinned by transparent values
· Intuitively doing the right thing without considering personal interest
· Sometimes it means being brave about the truth
· There are some wise people but not always in positions of power so wisdom gets wasted
Examples of a gap between the wise solutions and the ones that get implemented
· The widespread belief that we are victims of our communities instead of potential leaders / initiators / bridge builders
· The USA legal system with success fees for lawyers
Techniques that harness the wisdom of the crowd
· Listening and trying to understand where they come from by asking questions and encouraging others to speak up
· Participating in local associations - as long as the association is designed to have open access, and not to create barriers of inclusions/exclusion
What are the personal benefits we get from a good debate?
· Helps clarify my own ideas by explaining them and considering new input
· Gives me a better perspective - sometimes you can get in a rut with your thinking
· Makes me think (again)
What works in debating?
· A wide mix of experience and viewpoints, but where individuals aren't just on their own soapbox
· Show respect
· Open minds, willingness to change
· A diverse audience
… and what goes wrong?
· A lot of the failure stems from uneven power structures. Paying lip service to public consultation (or employees views) but having no intention of acting on it
· Rhetoric and defensiveness
· Hidden agendas
· When you know it's just a talking shop to pretend to ask for input
· Boring, lots of words without meaning
· Too much talking and not enough listening
What will we do differently tomorrow? (impact of the debate)
· Tell a couple of friends about this regular event - the more of us who are involved, the wiser we can be
· Remember to listen with an open mind, you never know when someone is going to make a useful contribution
· I’ll ask some people the same question tomorrow