Ted Cadsby: Path Dependence

Ted writes for HBR

We have our work cut out for us when it comes to navigating complex problems, in large part because we are hard-wired to seek certainty as quickly as possible. The research of decision scientists reveals that our best strategy for tackling these problems is to harness cognitive diversity, because groups do better than individuals, including those with the highest IQs. Complex problems are characterized by confusing systems of causal interactions; untangling these requires multiple different points of view. Diversity, as Scott Page puts it, trumps ability.

The problem is that we quickly reach “path dependent” solutions that appear to be foolproof but are wrong. Building up your strategic capacity helps reduce this risk. Join the adventure!


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