Saturday, May 28, 2005

Why smart people defend bad ideas

This was an interesting essay written by Scott Berkun. Well...he had plenty to write, few obvious things and many insightful comments.

The obvious - "The problem with smart people is that they like to be right and sometimes will defend ideas to the death rather than admit they’re wrong."

The insightful - "The primary point is that no amount of intelligence can help an individual who is diligently working at the wrong level of the problem. Someone with wisdom has to tap them on the shoulder and say, “Um, hey. The hole you’re digging is very nice, and it is the right size. But you’re in the wrong yard.”"

Overkill of an analogy, but still-
"I was never very good at pool, but this one guy there was, and whenever we’d play, he’d watch me miss easy shots because I tried to force them in with authority. I chose speed and power over control, and I usually lost. So like pool, when it comes to defusing smart people who are defending bad ideas, you have to find ways to slow things down."

And he says-"If you want your smart people to be as smart as possible, seek a diversity of ideas. Find people with different experiences, opinions, backgrounds, weights, heights, races, facial hair styles, colors, past-times, favorite items of clothing, philosophies, and beliefs. Unify them around the results you want, not the means or approaches they are expected to use."

Something about Scott- "He left his comfortable industry job to go after a life goal: filling the bookshelf near his desk with books he's written". I'm impressed.


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