At the end of a couple of weeks in Europe and being here in Glasgow during this past week has heightened my sensitivity to how democracy, devoid of deliberation and focused only on numeric results, has been hijacked and rendered ineffective for making complex decisions related to governance of complex issues. The UK is currently paying the price for a ridiculous decision made in June of 2016 to leave the European Union. Whatever you think of the merits of Brexit, there can be no denying that the method for doing so has been deeply flawed both in its democratic implementation and the subsequent negotiation. Britain is currently mired in apolitical, constitutional and economic mess of its own making.
So how to we make better decisions together? This video has some very interesting hypotheses that combine complexity science with deliberation practice. It’s worth reflecting on.
Brilliant. And tremendous video. Thank you.
Great article Chris! I’ve followed Dan Ariely for a long time. His work has influenced me in several different instances. Thank you for this video – I had not seen it and will be using it in my work.
Isn’t this proof that AoH is meaningful in the world today? I love that you shared this.
Interesting, though it raises some additional questions where such an approach may not be optimal. I’ve worked with groups tasked with coping with major, even existential challenges to their organizations, where boldness and risk-taking was essential. What we found was that the group deliberation process essentially rejected as ‘outliers’ the boldest ideas, and led the group to prefer seemingly safer approaches. In hindsight the resulting decisions were disastrous, where much riskier decisions might have saved the day. Also, my experience is that some kinds of decisions do not benefit from the ‘wisdom of crowds’ (no matter how well-constituted and diverse) at all. That’s why I’m intrigued by the Reinventing Organizations approach of delegating MOST decision-making to individuals (provided they are competent at consulting with others as appropriate) who are recognized as having the creativity, track record or expertise needed to make these decisions effectively, and having larger groups seek consensus only on the small number of issues where the ‘wisdom of crowds’ warrants such involvement.
Yes. This is a critical perspective. Using he research here gives us clarity to make choices about how we make decisions, not an orthodoxy. Thanks for this perspective.
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