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tv   After Words  CSPAN  January 11, 2015 9:00pm-10:01pm EST

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and we have covered that as well. with so we really want is how "the great gatsby" came to be and why it indoors. . . . .
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and that actually is a huge improvement over the idea of groupthink that is in the popular consciousness. groupthink means suppress the individual ideas and creativity of their members and that is a real problem. but to figure out what actually lives behind groupthink and what are the specifics that make it happen that's something we've made a lot of progress and the book tries to figure out the way
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his groupthink so to speak actually happens in firms families government and religious organizations and labor unions. and there's the idea that we've learned a lot about how groups can succeed some of it through simple things you can kind of institute in a minute and others were are complicated and require technology. >> host: i want to get into the places groups of go wrong and how we fix them. first what drove you to write this book? did you have a personal experiences? >> i was involved in the group called juries. but we found and you have to
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group the group of six people that would end up after deliberating arriving in the middle of a group of six thoughts and that is what we accepted when it comes up in the average median of the group of six but what we founded found in this study is hundreds of juries when the group jurors end up with high air of words often much higher your awards and be a digital member. so in terms of dollars, the juries got more punitive than individuals. we also measured how bad they thought the misconduct was on the numerical scale from zero to six or something like that and if the average individual was at five then the jury came in at six. so people got more outraged if people wanted to punish corporations with 100,000-dollar a word before they started to talk and after they talked to each other they moved up to
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200,000. and i thought of this and thought that's kind of astounding that groups and up much more in-depth much more outraged than individuals that compose them. what's going on there and that is what made me think there's something that we need to learn about the jury behavior. >> host: that's fascinating. what is happening is they are just again each other on. >> guest: it is two things. the number of arguments that suggest the corporation is terrible corporation is terrible or the award should be high air is high and the number of arguments they will hear that suggest the company began to didn't do so bad over the award should be low. it's outraged and can think about this if you are outraged about the united states doing something that you think is harming you were general motors is doing something that you think is bad or the president
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president of the president's opponent. if a group is inclined to think that cometh in the number of arguments will just be hired in the other arguments and i saw some of the tapes you could see happening in real time. despite the information exchange and the group that has a tendency towards outrage in the cases, and we can talk about the groups of multiple kinds whatever their initial tendency is it can be amplified especially by the people who are speaking out and all are disturbed. the other thing as interesting as this which has to do with the status reputation if you are in a group of people that think think what a corporate nation like litigation did is really bad and you think. they sold something that was a failed boldness. that's really outrageous.
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they involve the cases the jury did start out outraged. they didn't want to look like passive were beaked people were like they were excusing someone engaged in misconduct. they wanted to preserve their status within the group that can be really bad because it deprives people of important information and then in the jury cases whether they should be getting high awards or low awards that if he group is composed a group is composed of individuals who are silencing themselves because they are
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concerned about reputations in their group, then the problem is the group is losing information and as soon as i saw that in the studies i thought that is about the groups generally also. but information is lost because people are afraid that their reputation is a risk or people think i have something to contribute but it's probably not as good as the other people are contributing. >> host: it's making me think of the nero scientific research that shows when somebody depends from the group they actually experience what they call the pain of independence. so we are talking about that in the jury context. can you talk about an example this gave him the pick alex
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>> when they gave the go-ahead to invade the day of cuba as it visited the terrible failure in the international damaging events for the united states where we had to kind of concede in the negotiation of cuba and the also said how can i have could i have been so stupid to let them go ahead. the reason was that his advisers were engaged in the determination that is they were going in the flow of the room and so they were actually after the fact they said i knew this was a mistake but i didn't say anything and the reason was either their own views were wrong because they felt isolated , and the other guy for just your kind that registers
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fear and anxiety that if you say something for a group of people that is dedicated to something for the purpose of national security or liberation if you say maybe this isn't a good idea probably you were thinking to yourself i'm going to look really bad in front of my peers and i'm putting stuff at risk. >> host: shouldn't it be the job of the leader of the group to do something about that dynamic, and i want to point out something in your book that you find find fascinating witches we hear so much about the power of optimism in general, the power of optimism to achieve or help you achieve success of all time on and you said you divided the world into anxious and complete people and you say when the groups do well it is often because they will be anxious leaders. there is one leader present in
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the united states but also the heads of the policy office in the white house and the leader is anxious not in the sense that they are terrified of life. one is the way people are adversely affected by what we are doing and that's great. it's a safety valve that the nation has by virtue of that level of anxiety. and if by contrast you have someone that is complacent and those people can often be winning and charismatic it is often in the corporate world and the government to. because you don't want to put it on the bosses shoulders.
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they will look like a team player and often more like the person that has everything under control. the anxious person or the anxious leader shouldn't be removed successfully full of despair, but should be thinking all the time. but there are some things that could go wrong and what are we doing to reduce the risk for each of the seven? >> host: shouldn't the groups to be composed of eight and group of anxious people people oriented rather than each individual member should have a little bit of those in the character.
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for a leader to have anxiety is indispensable. it's also thinking if we have a plan to launch a product. or a public official who is developing an environmental program off to be thinking if it doesn't have an adverse affect on small business. for the leaders to be thinking about that basically every day is really good so long as it doesn't swallow them approach can be demoralizing.
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in the group there's probably some importance of distinguishing this tedious. so the stages of the idea of the initial development has have a bunch of optimistic people. that can be a part of what spalding is lets put all things on the table were on the board stage where optimism and deflation are opposites and at that stage you want to opt for optimism so you find that it plans to undertake a ban to switch from the optimism of everything is welcome to look at the downside is probably a good idea. it is true that for an engineer or creative person or a constructor or something whether it is in our politics or science, you have to put on hold your anxiety about how things are going to work out for a
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writer as for a scientist you have to think that this is going to work. but to have that at the key stages even for the multiple team members a sense of how things can go wrong, that is helpful from my own experience as the staff of the 50 they are all excellent and we want every one of them to be thinking. we are thinking all the time just so there would be a mistake that would hurt the american people. i didn't want them having any week at least where they thought everything was going great. if they did they probably were in posing risks on people. >> host: i'm fascinated by this because it runs counter to the idea. but when you dig deeper and see it, digging deeper into the
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leaders have seems clear if you are the leader of a group you want to get the best of everyone's brain in that group in that meeting. and yet you say that it's actually very unusual for the leaders to create a climate where that happens. why is divisive because they tended to be optimistic or are there other forces going on? >> guest: on the countries of the scale it is important to emphasize a kind of yes we can headline. that's good. so for a religious organization that is trying to grow and help people or the charity or nonprofit to think that this is going to work is probably an indispensable foundation and at the same time that you are thinking what can go wrong in terms of leaders, here is the risk. if a leader indicates a view that is risk number one that can
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squelch creativity and innovation as well as the mixed verdicts that you want of your group. so if you have a leader that is declared early on that can be bad in eliciting information. so. he was given a sense that they agreed with him early on even if they had opposing views. so some of the advisers were stunned to find a diamond of the decision roosevelt had a great sympathy with their view. the reason he did that is that you want to be a good manager who would give everyone the room to give their own ideas and
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develop them so that we see all of them. one way that a leader can overcome the creativity and innovation is not the state of the view. is it to be very quiet so to speak at the outset and to be eliciting views with a sense of sympathetic curiosity, and in the government i observed some of the best people really great at that and did give people a sense that they are stupid, didn't give people the sense that they were on the wrong track until that the time of decision that they would say we are going to go another way. there was an early meeting involving what to do about the american car companies and famously key held down and things are going well to make the right decision. at the end of the meeting of the youngest person in the room in
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the lowest status at the very end of the hour-long meeting made a comment that didn't go to the core of the issue but went to an important subsidiary issue and he mixed up the letters that were forming government terms. he mingled it and everybody in the room laughed and then people started to walk out. the hour was up. the president said his way to let him make his point. and i the reason that was perfect was not the obvious one the person that was young and is really smart if that person has something today to say whether or not that letter is right, they have an idea and the
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president wanted everybody in the room to hear the idea. and that is a good leadership. it wasn't clear by the way the president was going to agree with that idea or not. >> said, good leaders often think silence is golden. that's very simple to implement. >> host: so if you were a leader and you want to hear others' views but you also know the person who speaks earliest tends to have a lot of influence in their opinion who do you give the floor to first? >> that does suggest suggest a keen importance of the leaders thinking about that. if they are justifiably clear on what the right course of action is, then there are two smart things you can do but very
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different. one is to pick the person you think stays the correct view that will anchor the discussion of a certain place and create what you think were stipulating for good reasons has probably right without having an effect and by creating a kind of strawman for the rest of the group to target. that can be a smart strategy as a risk which as the leader knows i am electing the person who shares my belief to start. so the creative alternative is to pick the person you think is both able and wrong and let them talk first. so i have seen in government private sector sometimes the second strategy that you use by good managers who deliberately put up person they think is on the wrong track of because they
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will say something silly but because they will say something about all things considered is not correct to make sure that view is highlighted and get the full airing of the little i could roosevelt did in his agreement with the positions that he thought were entirely wrong. another thing a leader can do by the way that doesn't involve sequencing is to do something that involves assigning to people so one thing that initially i found very jarring is that there would also be part of government that had different institutional responsibilities so the environmental protection agency, they are concerned about the environment. they are not focused first and foremost on the economic rhetoric. the department of agriculture is focused on farmers. that's what they're interesting. the department of transportation
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is focused on the transportation sector. sometimes there is a government terms called equities which does have a term in this sense means the environmental protection agency will have its equities training environment and transportation would have its equities meaning of the transportation sector. >> host: domestic conflict of stakeholders. initially it seemed to me that wasn't so helpful because you want people seeing what's there but it's actually really productive in the groups opposing that everyone gets to talk because if the group leader is doing business right you get people in different roles feeling entirely free to say what they know so that the department of agriculture people think that we are talking about the interest of consumers and they will emphasize those in a meeting and they won't think i'm
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going to shut up because let's say the department of energy and let's say we are talking about farmers and the environmental protection agency even if it's own view doesn't capture the entirety of the public interest they have an important equities at his peak which is one of the effects on clean air and clean water and the beauty of that versus the kind of unique animal of the federal government but the big beauty of it is that after the discussion ends the range of informational input is very wide and if people hadn't been identified as you are this department or you are that department that probably wouldn't have been somewhat of a leader can do that is less formal than that is indicate i know you have these expertise and you have this perspective and the centrist and i really
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want to hear that and that is a very informal and almost immediate goal of the assignment and if they assign people different roles, the issue is about a product launch for example you have an engineer or communications person you have someone that is involved in some sort of a scientific issue and someone is a technology type come if they know each of those, then all of that information is going to get out which it would be less likely if the group's members were just thought to be members of the team .-full-stop. >> host: and that is because psychologically they've almost been given permission to talk about the specific topics. >> guest: do two things that we began in the jury which is also observed by the way among citizens on the political issues we can talk about if you like the two problems are that people often silence themselves because they think if other people think something different than their own views must be wrong or they
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think if other people think something is different than they risk the reputation of the speak out. both of those are taken away because you think i know something that the others don't know. and you think it's not inappropriate for me to say that while from the standpoint of science or engineering or communication or farming here is the plaintiff view. >> host: that makes sense. also the knowing that you are advocating on behalf of some of us can get people extra power to weigh in and you can imagine that happening in the jury if we start talking to the person you're you are speaking for instead of your standing in the room. that makes me think of something that you wrote about devils advocate which i would have thought of finding somebody the role of devil's advocate was in a meeting and would really open up the dialogue because you
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know, you're giving somebody the freedom to give a dissenting point of view what but usually that doesn't always work as well as you think. >> host: >> guest: this is something that i agree is very good and the notion of the devil's advocate is kind of in the common conversation now. the problem is that it is a little bit of an exercise rather than a reality. so let's say there's a group of people debating what kind of an investment to make and you say that your going to invest in energy or health and you say we are not sure what that have someone be devils advocate and then they do they are going through the motions in a group that already has an inclination and it's not real. so the appointment of the devils advocate unlike the defender in the legal system where you just play the role of a lawyer it is a group member whose plan
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doesn't work. everyone else is for real. so the devils advocate any way does his or her job fast if he or she fails meaning in a group that's determined were inclined to do something if the devils advocate is assigned to make that other argument. i'm a citizen structured very carefully, the devils advocate if he or she succeeds is undermining the whole project. if the structure of the advocacy arrangement is such that undermining the whole project in the end is an achievement that edwards wanted about the good that good, then it can work better and then the devils advocate is something a little different. the red team that is used in the u.s. military and the intelligence community and law firms it is much more real.
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it's not like appointing someone that's part of your roof to undertake your group to argue the other way. the idea is to get a dedicated group that can be small for people whose job it is to show vulnerabilities or show what can go wrong or what will go wrong. the line between that it of his advocate which is the kind of paper exercise and good red team isn't set in stone but the difference is that the red team is often independent people who have a mission and if they succeed undermining the plan of the group that's what they are therefore and the there for and the red team idea works really well. i used it in the government in the sense that if we were embarking on something let's say it was a regulation designed to make sure trucks would be
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safer on the highway and you want to do that if the benefits justify the cost something is going to be expensive or not very productive for people it's probably not a good idea to start to ask people to devise the strongest argument the other way and that would be done in a way to figure out where are we vulnerable in the sense that we are going off in the wrong direction. it wouldn't be in the nature of the devils advocacy. you could think of it in your own mind even in a single human brain sometimes when we are thinking about a course of action, we kind of know where we want to go on vacation who we want to date, what job you want to take into take and we might be devils advocacy exercise but it's not real.
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or you can read the team yourself by thinking i'm going to genuinely put in brackets the question of the ultimate course of action and i'm going to put the strongest arguments i can do myself against that vacation or that job and that is kind of like red teaming. >> host: so it doesn't depend on the fact of its team. it sounds similar to a story told in the book about the intel chairman changing his course of action based upon a specific exercise. can you talk about that? >> guest: they co. they were having problems and the leadership was struggling a lot to figure out what to do with their problems and one of the top people said they supposed we just entered our current jobs
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today what would we do instead of our history if today was our first day what would we do. that is a great question and for them it was completely eliminating. the product that they had been selling and profiting greatly from having run into trouble in terms of their own economic situation but if we were taking over the company we would do something else and that's what they did. so i think the brilliance of that idea which managers and people in positions of mid level or higher level of authority in frequently ask if i started my job this week were today how i do things differently and the reason that the great is if a little bit like the idea of the role assignment it that you're a signing yourself the role of i'm
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doing this now i don't have a history to which i have an emotional or some other kind of commitment so at the university of chicago for many years as a faculty member there, excellent person and professor who in response to any new idea what to say either we did that or we never did that and those responses exhausted the universe. but if we thought i'd just joined the university, what should i think about it, then they would look at the view of the merits rather than looking through the past. >> host: that's really interesting. and why is it that you say that if you take an investment club of people that know very well they won't do as well as people that are not so connected. >> host: >> guest: this is very surprising data. if people do get together and
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figure out how they are going to invest and the worst performing investment clubs in the united states are the ones of the people that really know each other, like each other, socialize, have dinner together, have wine together. the best performing ones are the ones that have a degree of distance. people don't know each other that well personally and they are there to talk things through. the mechanism is a lot like the juries. if you know each other well and you socialize together, then the likelihood that you would say the course of action that we have been and worked on his nonsensical and so they suppressed the disagreement and this is really important for assessing the group performance and its related by the way to the question whether people have different personality types and people who are going to be helpful or not our kind of
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paralleled in the investment club that i think the surprising finding or the close-knit ones are successful is the data suggesting the most successful companies in the united states have contentious boards where people are arguing and fighting and what's good about that is they are eliciting information and so if you have a good board, you will have some people that no staff and john has a book on liberty's that's one reason to have freedom of speech is that you can test truth and even if you are really sure sometimes you don't have a right and a corporate board that has people that is a little like our close-knit investment clubs they aren't going to get the truth tested. >> host: it's interesting that because you could see it going the other way and the people that know each other well what
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if you likely have the freedom to defend because they know their colleagues will still love them. >> host: >> guest: that is a great point. what i wonder is whether there are some investment clubs in the united states or some corporate boards in the united states which combine great knowledge of one another and a high degree of personal fondness for an openness to the dissenting views so the date of that i described meaning that its aggregate data and close-knit that you could disaggregate by looking at close-knit but ones where lots of disagreement is allowed because there's trust so that's comparable within a family or certain workplaces that work well probably like that and have a sense of the common mission and they may have lunch together and even dinner but to say
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you're full of nonsense i think it's completely acceptable because is completely acceptable because it is not socially destructive. you can say to someone with whom you have a close relationship you're full of nonsense and that charming rather than the end of matters. >> host: especially if you created a culture where there would cares about the inquiries they are less likely to take it personal when you do that. >> guest: here's the experiment closely associated with what you're describing. there is experiment about whether people will cooperate under certain circumstances in their economic interest. if you call the game wall street, they don't cooperate. if you call that cooperation, they cooperate. that's the name of the game. so it is a great point that if you have a workplace where the
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norm is one of expressing your view if you think the company is going in the wrong direction. i know there are some television programs where it is absolutely central and indispensable where it's just what you're describing this is anecdotal rather than scientific but they are good anecdotes about television programs where there is a high degree of trust as a way the investment club data where people do know each other but they are completely free to say that the technical idea. >> host: so if you are sitting down tomorrow having lunch with the leader of a company or a new product line and of the leader told c. we have meetings every monday morning that make people feel uninhibited and they are not really telling me what they think, what should they do
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differently? >> guest: there are a few things to do. one is to give clarity that what it means to be a team player is not to be someone that is agreeable but instead to give the sense that a team player is one who tells the group information that they need to know so to create a culture of information disclosure is absolutely essential. i think that would be number one. number two, to have a leader who is as we discussed a little recess at the beginning not in the sense of being, you know not warm, but msn's of saying i am not sure i think i want to hear everything and having that be sincere as possible. a third thing to do is see if you can have good assignment such that people feel they have
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something to contribute and they've been given a distinctive task and these are very informal things. the fourth thing you can do is think of the hiring stage of two different kinds of people you want in your operation. first and kind of obvious you want people who are smart at the relevant tasks. the general intelligence not amazingly is a good predictor of performance. but some work suggests that there is a different form of team capacity you might call it a that's even better than general intelligence. it doesn't really have a name. sometimes it is called factor c. which is the ability to work in groups and these are groups that are generally collaborative of people that worked on their own and it refers to three things actually. one is the ability to read other
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peoples emotions where this can be tested independently through, you know, facial expressions. that is a good predictor of team performance. groups that have lots of people participating in one way or another versus those that have small minorities participating. >> host: and you mean by how many people are speaking in the group. >> host: >> guest: if you are in a group of five it can be understood in different ways and it doesn't necessarily mean they are talking in a meeting. they might be sending an e-mail or commuting to be communicating their ideas in another way and another way to get what they know and third is that women are a bit better than men. the data suggests that women just are on average a bit better than men at contributing to better team performance. we don't know whether that is because women are independently better at reading other peoples
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emotions which is apparently also true or whether there is something else going on but those are three things that tend to be helpful. it's a very good manager to have people that have a certain team capacity as well as a certain ability we need to know what is the manager or the executive what is the task so there is a task that it's good to have collaboration and there are some tasks that are not so important where people can work on their own at least at the central stages and there are others have put coordinating functions so that if it is people working separately then to have just superb people who are terrifically creative, think steve jobs and people like that that's good, and they are the information aggregation of the sort that i am now describing which is important. it's important to let them do their work and then let them
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bring it to the rest of the group at the relevant time and it will be incorporated properly. >> host: i'm glad that they are making that distinction because there are so many people i've run across over the years perform to spend their workdays alone that they wanted their work to serve the good of the group and can you just take that distinction a little more about what's working in a group actually means that it's not only about actually sitting down at a table full of people and contributing at that moment. >> guest: you could have someone whose job it is for example to invent something and lets think of that very broadly as could be a commodity or it could be a text.
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it's what they need to do to bring their commodity and product to the group's attention that invalid for the evaluation and they are group members in the sense of what to suppose a lot of people are producing the thing and there's a component that they are doing. for some people they may be producing the cover of a book for example where they might be producing the core of a publicity campaign and they are great at that. to have them working on their own and then introducing this as a group, that can be just fine. and it might even be ideal. there are other groups where creativity emerges best and i don't know if we know exactly in advance which falls under which category that there are other tasks where the exchange of
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ideas either face-to-face or online is what is most desirable for prompting ingenuity. and the jury i think has not come in yet and it may be that there is no unitary answer on which model is better and to have a kind of flexible manager who is good at doing both the personnel on the team and knowing the task and what suits their own capacities and skills is good so when i was in a moment i had one person just coming to mind. she's a a triple thick writer so if there was a memorandum that was going to go by to say to a group for her to sit down and write a first draft herself, that was good and for her to work on macs with other people that would be helpful. it would just slow her down so
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she would do a first draft and then there would be maybe six people who would do some editing and they are good at that and they could check may be the legal aspects or some other aspect and then eventually there would be more and more eyes. often it is both in that way. if you have a group that is trying to figure out what is best on each day in the next year it might be to have some sort of information exchange among a diverse group of people with ideas that is helpful. so in the government lets suppose you are thinking of what are the sensible policy initiatives for the next six, it would take a very large brain to get one person who could isolate a very large number of options and listed for the group into which probably be better to have a significant number of people either face to face or online
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listing things than to aggregate information that way. >> host: and if you are talking about the kind of group work where everybody is sitting together at the same time, i came across a statistic that came out recently from the cow blog school and i think they might have been talking about groups of around eight or so and in the typical birth you have three of the people doing 70% of the talking and you were saying before that that's actually one of the things that makes the groups not work as well so if you want the evenness and participation here is the leader of a group of making that happen with what you suggest? >> guest: what i have observed from good leaders that they are really alert to that and that it's the 30% that are dominating the groups were 70% of dominating their group and you need to get other people talking, just do that. so that presidents in our history have been a very alert
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to this and there's a book to be written about this good presidents in our history have seen these talking and what do they actually think or if they have an expression on her face does that suggest disgruntlement do they have something to add? so i thought if a few people are talking there's probably a bunch of people who are excellent to have different ideas who are not talking and just ask them if might be they have some reason they are not talking about a good one and that they need to talk to me personally or someone
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else in a one-on-one way rather than in a group that if there's any group or a group of of people are not talking there is a risk that there is something that is not helpful and just ask them is a good idea. >> host: it's funny. i was actually just in the corporate meeting yesterday where somebody made the point that sometimes it's hard for her to interject out of the blue but if you call on her she will be happy to you what she thinks. i don't want to be put on the spot so it seems as if a lot of the leaders job is to figure out what does each individual need. >> guest: that is ideal if the leader can know the people well enough. if the leader doesn't have that knowledge courteously to ask people to you have anything to add, giving them permission to say actually not, that's fine.
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but also giving them encouragement to contribute something. >> guest: >> host: i want to shift gears for a moment. i was fascinated to read what you had to say that the prediction markets market that innovation tournaments and i would love for you to explain that. we heard so much lately about the idea of the wisdom of crowds and this was -- utah couple ways companies are starting to implement that wisdom. can you talk a bit about that? >> guest: what we have been emphasizing so far actually has been the occasional bad -- madness and that is because people have incentives to contribute nothing and so groups don't get what they need. there are ways of analyzing the wisdom that are more easily feasible because of the current technologies. so what we have seen a great great growth in recently as the prediction markets and the big
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enough company used a instant of asking the employees whether the products will launch in january on the market where they can bet on the date that it's going to want and they can maybe get a t-shirt or get some sort of claims they can use to buy some commodities the product serves and the beauty of the prediction market is that if you get the people betting is typically anonymous until there is a winner so if you think the product isn't going to launch another you can bet that way and you're going to be real war did so to speak on the only once you've been proven right so you will not be a naysayer in front of the group publicly. >> host: will you be found out in that moment ex- >> guest: you will be. the problem is that person is smart and they knew the product wasn't so good and what is amazing about prediction markets
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is google was used to them best them, best buy, packard, many companies use them and what emerges has been highly accurate so publicly naming the newspapers there's a discussion there is a discussion on the protection markets or elections, so they run the market for presidential elections to control the senate and they are terrific. they lead them better than the polls and predicts the polls because people are putting money on the line and if the market is going in a silly or a wrong direction than other people are going to put more money on the line and you are aggregating of the knowledge of dispersed people and that can be a powerful tools for the companies are doing it and it overcomes the problems we have discussed of someone saying i don't want to speak out because people will see me and think less of me or people say i must be wrong
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because the group is going going the other way. they might think you know i going to have an economic reward coming and i think i do better than most people and so that works. the tournaments which are increasingly feasible you can create one online in a hurry they are ones where they say that if someone has a better idea than we do they will get an economic reward. so, netflix for its matching program where if you like star trek and star wars the chances are you're also going to like the twilight zone. if there is a matching program that was created through netflix that was better than netflix 01 and it just went to crowds to ask people can you beat our program and it turned out to work. so what makes them work really well is that a company can go
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beyond and often many other companies are doing this they are able to go out and enlist the expertise and creativity of hundreds or thousands of people who are just out there and i expect in the next generation we are going to see a lot more of that partly because the economic reward needn't be very high in order to get lots of participants because the public recognition can justify the investment even if you don't have a lot of dollars. there is something the u.s. government does which is a little analogous to the prediction market and determined determinants that have the wisdom of the crowds feature. if you are proposing a rule involved in what state clean air or highway safety or immigration , typically it will go out to the public for the
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comment before it is finalized and what i observed in government is that this is a turkic wisdom of the crowd safeguard in the sense that the government will have excellent people of diverse kinds of work on figuring out the rules for food safety or reducing pollution of one kind or another that they won't have every issue just because they won't know as much as the hundreds of thousands or millions or tens of millions of americans do and so the comment well come in saying this one is misdirected, this one is a mistake and in some cases the whole thing is a blunder and those comments will sometimes be convincing and that is a way of enlisting the information that people have. >> host: it's so interesting because the underlining theme of your book and all these different pieces that you're talking about is finding out what do you really people think
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as opposed to what they say or what you have access to them saying. >> guest: and exactly. so one bit of work we did experiments in colorado and got people from boulder colorado, pretty liberal territory we made sure they were liberals by the way, to talk about climate change, same-sex relations and affirmative action. just small groups from boulder and we took their anonymous views before they started to talk talk, had been deliberate a verdict and their anonymous views after they talk and what happened was the relatively diverse views on those issues became much more extreme and unified as a result of talking to each other so that group ended up being much more could he said and unified and left than the individuals before they
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talk and we did the same thing in the same period in colorado springs which is a conservative place and they also became much more cohesive, much more confident and extreme meaning more conservative than they were before so they flipped to the left and the right and they both lost information in the sense that there were diversities on the issues that kind of fell apart as a result of the discussions about like-minded people and i think that is a clue to a problem the groups face and the torment idea of the prediction of the public comment idea all of those are ways of reducing the risk of the loss of information.
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>> host: and it's a similar place to where we were starting talking about juries into starting out with more diverse opinions and then they end up with and they just get more and more extreme. so you have been able to amass an incredible amount of information and techniques into what i consider one of the great problems of how to run groups and meetings and i'm curious how you did this i just have to ask you this in closing as a fellow writer so effortlessly from my point of view to put all this together and you did this at the same time apparently you are writing three other books in the past year and let me get these numbers because they are so amazing. so three books you've written 28 books to date in your career plus another 15 that you've co-authored and then another 500 scholarly articles all while you had careers in government and teaching the goal classes. i don't mean to embarrass you i just want to ask you how do you do that?
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>> guest: most of the books are are short. some of the articles are short. become in terms of recent years i was in government for four years, i just learned so much and when you are in government who are working full-time for the american people. you aren't doing any writing except in the government so i learned a lot and after i left government i have a lot of ideas thrown out and back apparently resulted in what probably in the effective number of words in the last few years. >> host: so they all came out and you can read your next book on time management. thank you so much. it's a pleasure to talk with you and i recommend people read this book. it's absolutely fascinating. thank you. >> guest: thanks to you. really enjoyed it. >> host: me to. >> that was "after words" in
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which authors of the latest nonfiction books are interviewed by journalists, public policymakers and others familiar with their material. it airs every weekend on the tv at 10 p.m. on saturday, 12 and 9 p.m. on sunday and 12 am on monday. you can also watch online. go to and click on "after words" in the series and the topics listed on the upper right side of the page. richard bernstein, "time" magazine's first beijing bureau chief reports the relationship between the united states and china shifted from civil to the hostel in 1945 when the chinese decided to align themselves with the soviet union. this is about an hour. >> iem glad to be here. next time if i ever have the honor of being invited back i
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will note that it is not near the park metro stop. [laughter] somebody misinformed me that as a journalist i'm supposed to have two sources and i rely on only one. .. >> >>


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