Borrow some brains
In this week's reading, Robert Cialdini, Regents' Professor of Psychology at Arizona State University, writes about the value of group consulting in "Perplexing Problem? Borrow Some Brains."
Building on research from psychologist Patrick Laughlin and his colleagues at the University of Illinois, showing that the approaches and outcomes of cooperating groups are not just better than those of the average group member, but are better than even the group's best problem solver functioning alone, Cialdini builds a forceful argument for collaboration. His key lesson: "Leaders attacking a knotty problem that possesses an objectively correct solution must collaborate unfailingly with team members toward its resolution -- even when they are the best informed or most experienced or ablest of the group. This means setting up systems that ensure collaborative exchanges whether or not the collaboration seems necessary. To do less is a fool's gamble."
Reading Cialdini's article, I was reminded of a comment Bill Clebsch, Executive Director in IT Services at Stanford University, often makes: "The answer is in the room."