2005-05-18

Is 1+1 > 2?

• We all talk about two heads better than 1 and in fact two heads better than 2 itself. The is called synergy. The entire concept of group work is based on this. But, in reality, is1+1 greater than 2? It depends. What these heads are determine the outcome of the combination of these heads. The weighted average is very important here. If one fellow has a lower IQ or has an equal IQ but operates at lower efficiency, then it is a drag on the other one, which results in 1+1 < 1. If both are rational and have reasonable IQ and work at their best then 1+1 > 2. Again if one is irrational and the other is rational, then 1+1 < 0. So, there is no certainty that 1+1 will result in being greater than 2. It all depends on who this 1 and the other 1 are. Where can we see this in operation – office, sport, college, family, marriage. Almost at all places where some objective is being sought. The objective could be tangible or otherwise.

What prompts me to write about this is the number of voluntary (as against those mandated by ISB) study groups that operate at ISB. Many students get into groups to leverage on others knowledge and ideas. But unfortunately, the end result is not synergy. Some people have a tremendous marginal benefit out of this group work exercise. These could be free-riders, who don’t read and get all their learning from others. These could be people who tend to sleep off working alone and hence need to work in groups. The people who tend to lose out on the group work are those who get disoriented going at the slower pace of these free-riders. Or those who have a tendency to get into “chat” mode when they see another soul nearby; when alone they study fantastically well.

• In the last one month, I have observed a few groups that have formed and dissolved. A few couples, who could not be seen one without the other, have suddenly disengaged and formed into new groups. What all can happen in one month is what makes me think how much can happen in one year.

The variety and complexity of situations the combination of just a few people can effect is simply mind blowing. I am really having a great time observing the dynamics of a microcosm of the society.

3 comments:

mansi said...

interesting take but then what u say happens everywhere just that the pace at ISB is much faster so evrything seems so.... what better way to watch group dynamics than sitting & observing from a corner in a party u wud be amazed at what u discover

itheabsolute said...

hi mansi

fully agree with you that you dont need a b-school example to observe people and the dynamics involved in the interaction. my choice of the school is to give these dynamics in a time perspective. what happens to people when they know that they are going to be around for one year. in a party, say, if i were a participant, i can choose to quit whenever i want. sure, u just need an eye to observe things. u can get to know of people anywhere.

cheers

Anonymous said...

Hi Vijay,

Nice analogy.

This type of "Pairing" in Informatin Technology called as "XP" (Xtreme Programing).

Thanks,
Pani

2005-05-18

Is 1+1 > 2?

• We all talk about two heads better than 1 and in fact two heads better than 2 itself. The is called synergy. The entire concept of group work is based on this. But, in reality, is1+1 greater than 2? It depends. What these heads are determine the outcome of the combination of these heads. The weighted average is very important here. If one fellow has a lower IQ or has an equal IQ but operates at lower efficiency, then it is a drag on the other one, which results in 1+1 < 1. If both are rational and have reasonable IQ and work at their best then 1+1 > 2. Again if one is irrational and the other is rational, then 1+1 < 0. So, there is no certainty that 1+1 will result in being greater than 2. It all depends on who this 1 and the other 1 are. Where can we see this in operation – office, sport, college, family, marriage. Almost at all places where some objective is being sought. The objective could be tangible or otherwise.

What prompts me to write about this is the number of voluntary (as against those mandated by ISB) study groups that operate at ISB. Many students get into groups to leverage on others knowledge and ideas. But unfortunately, the end result is not synergy. Some people have a tremendous marginal benefit out of this group work exercise. These could be free-riders, who don’t read and get all their learning from others. These could be people who tend to sleep off working alone and hence need to work in groups. The people who tend to lose out on the group work are those who get disoriented going at the slower pace of these free-riders. Or those who have a tendency to get into “chat” mode when they see another soul nearby; when alone they study fantastically well.

• In the last one month, I have observed a few groups that have formed and dissolved. A few couples, who could not be seen one without the other, have suddenly disengaged and formed into new groups. What all can happen in one month is what makes me think how much can happen in one year.

The variety and complexity of situations the combination of just a few people can effect is simply mind blowing. I am really having a great time observing the dynamics of a microcosm of the society.

3 comments:

mansi said...

interesting take but then what u say happens everywhere just that the pace at ISB is much faster so evrything seems so.... what better way to watch group dynamics than sitting & observing from a corner in a party u wud be amazed at what u discover

itheabsolute said...

hi mansi

fully agree with you that you dont need a b-school example to observe people and the dynamics involved in the interaction. my choice of the school is to give these dynamics in a time perspective. what happens to people when they know that they are going to be around for one year. in a party, say, if i were a participant, i can choose to quit whenever i want. sure, u just need an eye to observe things. u can get to know of people anywhere.

cheers

Anonymous said...

Hi Vijay,

Nice analogy.

This type of "Pairing" in Informatin Technology called as "XP" (Xtreme Programing).

Thanks,
Pani