“Powerful people are terrible at making decisions together”
“…The very traits that compel people toward leadership roles can be obstacles when it comes to collaboration…high-powered individuals working in a group can be less creative and effective than a lower-wattage team.The higher the concentration of high-ranking executives, the more a group struggled to complete the task. They competed for status, were less focused on the assignment, and tended to share less information with each other. Their collaboration skills had grown rusty with disuse.
When asked to work on a creative task as a team, groups of students who had been assigned as leaders offered fewer creative solutions than groups of mixed status. But when asked to do the task alone, students who had been given higher status at the beginning of the experiment performed better than those who hadn’t.
Given that the “best and brightest minds” approach to problem solving isn’t going away anytime soon, the Haas team is now looking at how to improve high-status group dynamics…One important step, he says, is to provide all-star teams with just the right amount of information—no more, no less.
“You give them not enough [data] and they claim they’ve not enough information to make a decision,” he said. “You give them too much, and they’ll find a way to disagree over it.”