What kind of crazy math is THAT?
Well . . . Walkin’ the dog this morning I was thinking about how great ideas come together. Often, there’s a person who conjures in her own mind what she believes to be a great idea. She thinks about it and chews on it and starts adding form to it inside her head for a while until she becomes such a believer that she cannot keep it inside any longer . . . She must SHARE her idea lest her head explode.
She is “1” looking for validation from another “1”, So she calls a trusted friend to discuss.
Friend likes her idea, and they together add lots of aps to her idea. They have a very fruitful meeting and emerge from it with an amazing number of new and interesting ideas and they both (at the same time) giggle with pleasure.
Stephen Covey is the first I have read to do the math that 1+1=3 . . . Those two “1”s got together and created a “3rd mind” (us) which took the formulation of the idea to a level that neither of “1”s could have gone without each other.
What happens when you add another “1”?
Here’s where the real fun begins because it grows exponentially . . .
Keep adding “1”s and more gets done in phenomenal ways.
The average bear would think that there might a “point of diminishing returns” at which the benefit of adding another “1” might get to the point of “too many cooks in the kitchen”.
I say that without “appropriate structure” this may be true . . . but we humans are infinitely qualified to self-organize around common passions.
The Chilean Government “gets” it – 33 miners find themselves trapped in a mine 1/2 mile under the surface . . . No-one started finger pointing . . . they didn’t let their egos con them into thinking that THEY were the only ones who could rescue these guys . . . They called out to world:
“HEY WORLD! Does anyone have some ideas as to how we can find these guys and keep them alive until we can figure out how to bring them back to the surface?”
The world answered the call . . . and great minds came together in a magical way and created a solution that succeeded FAR ahead of “schedule” even to the degree that they physically conditioned the miners to be the right shape, size, and mental health to ride in the specially built capsule that could travel that 1/2 mile through a shaft drilled through bedrock . . . Medical doctors, engineers, aerospace designers, logistical supply line experts all gathered together and derived a plan that WORKED even though many of them spoke different languages and came from different cultures.
Simultaneously, a veritable small town emerged in a matter of days surrounding the entrance of the mine to support the rescue effort and give family members of the trapped miners a place to stay . . . They worked out the logistics of feeding them, schooling them, entertaining them . . . It all just came together.
Why did this work?
Every one of these people had great passion for their roles in the solution. The goal was clear – Save the miners . . . ALL of the miners and they took responsibility for this passion by taking ACTION.
All those people were generous and supportive, but none of that would have been possible had the Chilean Government not been willing to “allow” them all to step in.
It’s up to the LEADERS to accept their own mortality (that they are not omniscient Gods) and to be willing to be vulnerable enough to rely on the power of group think – Braintrust – collaborative effort . . . and to give it enough leash to form without restriction.
I know that when this happens . . . regardless of the size of the group . . . When the purpose is clear, the people with passion for that purpose will show up (The RIGHT people) and they will come without personal agendas . . . with open minds such that the “right” things will happen . . . and when they gather, things will happen exponentially faster and more effectively than they ever could if the Leadership thwarts their creativity.
So . . . Remember this the next time you get a great idea . . .
Your odds of success increase significantly with every new brain who comes by choice.
I’m just sayin’
PS – As we developed Pareto Realty, we relied on the brains of many people . . . we invited everyone we saw to the conversation and listened intently to the ones who showed up and participated. We also know that we ALL will continue to improve as long as we continue to talk . . . and so we keep on inviting . . . and people keep on showing up . . . and we’re all reaping benefit.