The Power of Crowds vs the Power of Groups

We tend to think of crowds of people in different ways. Crowdsourcing can be good, but the wisdom of crowds generally isn’t. The things that “everybody thinks” can be very wrong.

Groups of individuals, on the other hand, can have a powerful influence.

We read reviews because sometimes we can find someone like us who can tell us their experience with a product or a store. Professional critics can lead us to try food, listen to music, and read books that we might never otherwise have given a second look.

It’s important that you and I share our thoughts and experiences with others. In a world that seems to be increasingly overrun with bots and algorithms the opinions of real people matter more than ever. You probably won’t be the only voice in a given space, but that doesn’t mean your voice won’t be heard by other individuals.

Hat tip to James Hatch and Rohan Rajiv for the inspiration.


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Recognizing Bias through Self Reflection

“Your personal experiences make up maybe 0.00000001% of what’s happened in the world but maybe 80% of how you think the world works… We’re all biased to our own personal history.” – Morgan Housel

A huge challenge working in teams is overcoming bias. No matter who we are or what our background we have some bias. It’s hard to make good decisions when bias gets in the way.

How can we recognize our own bias? How can we make good decisions despite it? Look out for times when you think of someone as “the other.” When a thought like this crosses my mind I try to immediately reframe the situation. Would that statement seem reasonable coming out of my mouth? What about someone I deeply respect? Would I have the same reaction in that case?

Examining our feelings can help us to understand where our comfort zone ends. That’s where our work begins. Self reflection is the first step to creating a more inclusive and vibrant team.


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