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Collective Wisdom

A few weeks ago I was searching for a statistic to incorporate into a discussion with a group I was facilitating for a leadership development program I work with.  As I searched Google and other search engines for the specific statistic, I was not coming up with the information I was looking for.  So I grabbed the next best, related statistic that I could find.  Close enough, right?

A few days later I was with the group discussing what I information I had found.  Not entirely satisfied, I decided that I was going to be straight forward and discuss loosely what I was really looking for with the group.  I elected for transparency and choose to share my information struggle with the 32 participants. An interesting discussion ensued about the importance of the topic continued and the main point of the exercise happened as our facilitation team intended.  Then, this last week I got an email from one of the group members, they found the statistic I was looking for!  My recollection was somewhat accurate and the information I was looking for did exist!  Vindication!  Maybe?

What really struck me was not to underestimate what a group of thoughtful human beings can come up with.  Our best work is often not done in isolation.  We kid ourselves into thinking we can do it all ourselves.  Wikipedia, Google, Bing, etc.; all of these great resources at our finger tips tend of make us forget the benefits that come from the collective wisdom that we gain by working with others.  Friends, colleagues, family and other trusted advisors; they have perspective and insights to share that are different than ours as we face questions, challenges and decisions that inevitably come up in life.   We need each other more than we think. 

How do you tap into the collective wisdom around you?


Brian Gentry – Landed Gentry Homes & Communities 

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