Report by Nesta: “The report has five sections that cover different dimensions of group decisions: group composition, group dynamics, the decision making process, the decision rule and uncertainty….Key takeaways:
- Diversity is the most important factor for a group’s collective intelligence. Both identity and functional (e.g. different skills and experience levels) diversity are necessary for better problem solving and decision making.
- Increasing the size of the decision making group can help to increase diversity, skills and creativity. Organisations could be much better at leveraging the wisdom of the crowd for certain tasks such as idea generation, prioritisation of options (especially eliminating bad options), and accurate forecasts.
- A quick win for decision makers is to focus on developing cross-cutting skills within teams. Important skills to train in your teams include probabilistic reasoning to improve risk analysis, cognitive flexibility to make full use of available information and perspective taking to correct for assumptions..
- It’s not always efficient for groups to push themselves to find the optimal solution or group consensus, and in many cases they don’t need to. ‘Satisficing’ helps to maintain quality under pressure by agreeing in advance what is ‘good enough’.
- Introducing intermittent breaks where group members work independently is known to improve problem solving for complex tasks. The best performing teams tend to have periods of intense communication with little or no interaction in between.
- When the external world is unstable, like during a financial crisis or political elections, traditional sources of expertise often fail due to overconfidence. This is when novel data and insights gathered through crowdsourcing or collective intelligence methods that capture frontline experience are most important….(More)”.