Under certain conditions, a diverse crowd will make more effective decisions than a top-rated expert. In the game show “Who Wants to be a Millionaire”, the audience identifies the right answer 91% of the time, whilst the contestants’ friend – typically the most learned person they know – gets it right 65% of the time.
Crowds are uniquely suited to helping organisations to connect with society, and to build effective sustainability or CR strategies. The multifaceted relationship between business and society makes it very difficult for one person to understand the relative importance of the different issues.
A Head of Sustainability may argue that mitigating climate change is the overarching responsibility of business today. Her CEO might contend that combating youth unemployment matters more today, and should be prioritised. And her Head of Corporate Affairs might point out that paying “fair tax” is critical to the organisation’s avoidance of damaging headlines. Who’s right?
A diverse crowd of experts creates a proxy for society, and will give an organisation the answers it needs. It will rank the relative importance of the different issues being reviewed, and generate a performance rating of the organisation – put these two together and you have your gap analysis. And when you add in the hundreds of suggested solutions, you have a unique roadmap for change.