The power of diversity with a small “d”

I suppose that Tom Peters must take place as one of the great management gurus of our time.  This week I have chosen a short video clip of Peters talking about diversity with a small “d”.  There is a great phrase within the video lecture: “Random groups of human beings dragged off the street will do a better job of solving problems than a group of experts.”  Here is the clip:

When I looked at the comments below, I found a lot of anti-Diversity emotions (some stronger than others) – many of whom did not understand the subtlety of Peters’ distinction between BIG D and small d.  However, there was a comment referring to my old Alma Mater which resonated with me:

“Henley Management College did a similar study.  Industry experts and top personalities spent most time arguing between themselves – they were used to being in charge not in a team. Egos blocked progress. Sales people did best because they were used to time targets, finishing, and compromising. Expert groups itellectulised and ran out of time trying to get the perfect answer. Tom’s on the money here and there are studies to support his proposition.”

So, if you really want to solve a problem, business or personal, then go out into the street and collect a few strangers- preferably some with sales skills.  It might save you a bundle on lawyers fees and it could turn out to be quite fun too!

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2 Replies to “The power of diversity with a small “d””

    1. Thanks for the reference, Anthony. I had forgotten.

      From Wikipedia:

      Galton was a keen observer. In 1906, visiting a livestock fair, he stumbled upon an intriguing contest. An ox was on display, and the villagers were invited to guess the animal’s weight after it was slaughtered and dressed. Nearly 800 participated, but not one person hit the exact mark: 1,198 pounds. Galton’s insight was to examine the mean of these guesses from independent people in the crowd: Astonishingly the mean of those 800 guesses was 1,197 pounds, accurate to fraction of a percent.

      And now we have Crowdsourcing!

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