If you take five runners who have raced 10km and add their race times together and divide the answer by five to calculate the average race time, that time will be lower than the fastest runner.
The Wisdom of the Crowd Theory works differently to this logic when applied to decision-making. It believes that the collective opinion or decision will be superior to any individual expert or specialist who works alone.
If you apply this theory and take five adults dealing with a complex issue, it suggests the quality of their solution and plan will be HIGHER than what any individual would decide alone.
Matt Syed’s book “Rebel Ideas” explains the diversity of cultural backgrounds and perspectives help people to view complex problems from a more holistic point of view. Together, a group can see an issue from many angles previously unseen.
Like the picture above, if you have only one person contributing their opinion to what they are touching, they will most definitely be wrong. However, if you get the six of them to discuss their points of view together, there is a much stronger chance of a more successful outcome.
When teaching children with social, emotional or mental health needs, adopting this theory is wise: no matter how experienced you may be. Listening to, considering, accepting and offering different points of view will lead to better decisions and outcomes for the child.
As the famous quote goes:
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
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