In any small or medium-sized business, problems will arise that must be solved. Although the final decision always lies with the business owner, coming up with creative solutions is a task that is usually shared among a company's valued employees.
Tapping into the tacit knowledge of your employees is a valuable part of making business decisions. By crowdsourcing decision making, you can tap into the collective knowledge of your staff and arrive at a wider variety of creative solutions than would ever be possible alone. However, tapping into this collective intelligence can be a challenge. In order to help your meetings accomplish their objectives faster, you need to tap into a smarter method of gathering and evaluating ideas.
Scientific evidence supports visualization software
A recent scientific study conducted by The Institute of Marketing and Communication Management at the University of Lugano sought to identify the best methods for crowdsourcing decision making. The study provided two groups with the task of identifying problems and arriving at solutions. One group used visualization software while the other utilized hand-drawn charts.
The study found that the group that used visualization software was significantly more efficient. Not only did these participants arrive at solutions faster, they also generated more ideas and retained more knowledge than those using hand-drawn charts. The software-using group was better able to apply subjective evaluation to the ideas generated and recorded in this manner.
You can apply these same principles to your own business when tapping into the tacit knowledge of your employees. At your next meeting, consider using visualization software to help your team gather and present their ideas more clearly. Not only will this make the process faster, it's also a smarter and more efficient way to gather information.
One software that can aid in tapping into your team's collective intelligence is Ranktab, which allows you to gather and assess information and ideas in a visual manner. The visual interface makes subjective evaluation simple: Rather than needing to discuss each idea or suggestion at length, you can tell at a glance which ideas are most effective or have the greatest support from your staff.