-----8< ----- Article Cut & Paste from Scientific American MIND, Vol 17 No 3, June/July 2006 -----
Better Than Individuals
When three, four or ﬁve people gather to solve a problem, chances are they will succeed beyond the efforts of an equivalent number of individuals working separately, even if those soloists are the brightest available. So conclude researchers at the University of Illinois.
The investigators enrolled 760 of the school’s students to solve complex letter and word problems. Some toiled as individuals while others functioned in groups of two, three, four or ﬁ ve. The groups of three, four and ﬁ ve performed better than any set of individuals.
The dynamic is sensitive, however. Teams of two performed at the same level as two separate people, suggesting that this team size is too small to foster the dynamics that create optimal problem solving. Also interesting is that groups of three, four and ﬁve did equally well compared with one another; there was no advantage to adding people beyond a trio.
Study leader Patrick R. Laughlin says that in addition to tackling workplace challenges, problem-solving groups might enhance classroom learning. Further research is needed to determine whether student groups perform better than individuals do in academic settings and, if so, at what ages and tasks.
— Mark Fischetti
Although the result of the above research is nothing new for those who had studied the books by Napoleon Hill, I think it is an excellent articles to illustrate the important point of teamwork.
Napoleon Hill called it the "Master Mind Group"- the power beyond science. In short he described that "The Master Mind effort is to get those of like mind, form an alliance with about 5-6 people as optimum number, to work actively in a spirit of perfect harmony towards accomplishing of a definite purpose."
In my view, this concept is now more valuable than any of the historical time. This is because the knowledge that need to achieve success in the modern society has become so complex that not only the depth, but also the breath of subjects are increasing rapidly which fuel by modern technology.
For example, in the past, a farmer, scientist, doctor, teacher, engineer or any person who have a full time job can concentrate in their work and entrust their life-time saving to the fund managers and banks that would be needed for retirement. But, in this dog-eat-dog era, with too many "Bad Apples" in the market, people has to worry about the ethical issues of their brokers/fund managers, bankruptcy of banks... And even with the possibility of bankruptcy of certain states or the whole country... or yet another round of financial turbulence that might wipe out their saving or loose their job!!! Think about it, what a joke (though not funny but a sad one) for the thousand years of evolution of human history.
Working harder on the job would not solve such problems. Think of it this way:- one would need to fill up a bucket of water as accumulating enough personal retirement fund. But, one cannot fill up a bucket if there are a few leaking holes on it. The more water one fill into it, the more it would leak out.
Anyway, here is a little suggestion... Individual can form team to handle their financial matters, and make sure that at least one person in the term have a compass to navigate through the turbulence market in the future.
"A dwarf standing on the shoulders of a giant
may see farther than a giant himself."
- Didacus Stella.
Here is a blog link for those who are not familiar with the term "Master Mind Group".