Performance Impact of Collective Intelligence

08/05/2019 11:28 AM

He was Charles Darwin’s half-cousin, and it was Sir Francis Galton who derived the measure to quantify normal variation – the standard deviation, when describing a spread around the central value of any statistical analysis.

At a livestock fair in 1906 he witnessed a contest concerning villagers guessing an ox’s weight. Around 800 participated, and Galton found that the middle value was within 0.8% of the weight measured by the judges. 

Hence a notion of the wisdom of a crowd is first touched upon; and further expanded in 2004 when discussed by James Surowiecki. 

Surowiecki outlines what is expected in those situations where the decision making environment is not set up to accept the crowd.

In such a situation the outcome does not gain any benefits from the individual judgments and individual sourced information.

The missed opportunity that Surowiecki understood for organisations, was characterised as a unified collective intelligence, by Rosenberg around 2015.

The challenge for good governance is to unleash the wisdom of crowds in the form of collective intelligence.

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