In 2004, James Surowiecki's book titled "The Wisdom of Crowds" was published. It was one of the first books that got me interested in the concept of collective intelligence and summarised his own observations on the subject giving many examples of how crowds of people have successfully outperformed individuals.
Surowiecki's title pays homage to Charles Mackay's 1841 book "Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds" and he also cites a series of other authors from the late 19th Century who pointed out the weaknesses of groups or crowds.
History is full of examples of human collectives ...
When making decisions, there are usually multiple criteria that need to be considered. For example, when buying a house, these criteria might include price, size, location, etc. It is unlikely that the cheapest house will also be the biggest, or in the best location, so the home buyer will need to weigh these factors before making a decision. When buying stocks, the ones that have the potential of bringing the highest returns typically also carry the highest risk of losing money.
Teamwork has always been something that has intrigued me, one of the main reasons I joined the army was to learn more about team performance and it definitely provided me that opportunity.
Late last year we were approached by Louize Clarke from Connect TVT asking to use Enswarm’s Decision application to judge 3 competitions during Thames Valley Tech Week. Although we had not aimed this tool at competition judging we realised that this would be a great utilisation of our technology and agreed.
The Challenger space shuttle disaster, the Bay of Pigs invasion, and the collapse of Swissair, have all been attributed to the phenomenon of Groupthink.
When introducing Enswarm, I used to tell people that we aim to “advance human collaboration using digital tools”. However, this phrase always got the same reaction – eyes glazing over – it just wasn’t grabbing people’s attention. So as well as adapting my elevator pitch, this got me thinking: collaboration is essential to achieve anything meaningful, so why is no one interested?
After a lot of feedback and thinking about this, I have concluded that people are turned off by the word collaboration because it is widely overused. I believe it has turned into a buzzword that de-values its importance ...
Two years ago I had a lightbulb moment and decided to start my own business. I came across a problem that I was passionate about solving and set about finding a solution. However it hasn’t all been plain sailing and I’ve learnt a lot since starting out.
We’re all familiar with the story of Isaac Newton and the apple, and we’ve probably all experienced a ‘lightbulb moment’ at some point, but what was it for Enswarm?
Collaboration is very important to my team and I as we design software to allow people to interact in exciting new ways. But as our start-up matures, the more I realise that how we explain our ideas is just as important as the ideas themselves, and I have an issue when using the word collaboration.
In most situations organisations make decisions using unstructured decision meetings.