Monday, July 21, 2014

We Can Work It Out 2.0

Collecting the tacit knowledge of those around you is hardly a new concept: The process of listening to other people's opinions and developing an action plan is the cornerstone of effective management and even basic communication.

Unfortunately, subjective evaluation of these opinions and viewpoints isn't always easy. Although the collective intelligence of a group often arrives at the best solutions, sorting through that information and making a subjective evaluation that isn't clouded by personal beliefs or ideas can be a real challenge.

The Beatles even wrote a song on the topic, "We Can Work It Out." Although it's a song about communication within a relationship, its message can be applied just as well to crowdsourcing decision making and other aspects of business management.

The idea that people need to listen to each other and take the time to understand the other person's views in order to work out a solution is an important lesson to remember when communicating, whether that communication is taking place in a relationship, between friends or in the workplace. In fact, communication is of paramount importance in small business where everyone's opinion really counts toward the health of the company.

Of course, while collective intelligence can solve a lot of problems that arise in the workplace, you need a faster, smarter method for collecting that tacit knowledge than simply asking each individual and working through the answers. A more efficient method for crowdsourcing decision making is to use visualization software to help you assess the data. The results are provided in a graphical format that highlights trends and removes much of the confusion associated with trying to explain different ideas or viewpoints from many different sources.

Visualization software allows you to gather ideas and information and review the data at a glance, making it much faster than discussing it point by point. It's easier to get on the same page when you can quickly see at which areas your team has already reached a consensus. By using an app like Ranktab, you can utilize a smarter method for reaching a consensus. Just like the Beatles, once you know where everyone stands, you can work it out regardless of what problem you face.

Favorite Beatles | Ranktab - Collaborative Decision Mapping and Microsharing

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