The Power of Collective Wisdom: And the Trap of Collective Folly

The Power of Collective Wisdom: And the Trap of Collective Folly

by Alan Briskin, Sheryl Erickson, John Ott
     
 

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An inspired and practical approach to developing the innate power of groups to make wise, compassionate, and creative decisions

• Based on nine years of research involving scores of participants

• Includes real-life examples and specific practices to help readers understand and cultivate collective wisdom and avoid collective folly

Overview

An inspired and practical approach to developing the innate power of groups to make wise, compassionate, and creative decisions

• Based on nine years of research involving scores of participants

• Includes real-life examples and specific practices to help readers understand and cultivate collective wisdom and avoid collective folly

If we are to disentangle the extraordinary challenges that we face today in organizations, communities, and nations we must transcend our divisions and develop solutions together. But what enables us to collectively make wise choices and sound judgments instead of splintering apart?

When human beings gather together, a depth of awareness and insight, a transcendent knowing, becomes available. Based on nine years of research The Power of Collective Wisdom shows how we can tap into the extraordinary cocreative potential that exists in every group. Collective wisdom is elusive and unpredictable – it can’t be willed into being, but the authors describe six commitments people can adopt that will increase the likelihood of its appearing. Stories and historical examples throughout serve to illuminate and illustrate how collective wisdom has emerged in a range of settings and through the lives and traditions of varied cultures. Equally important, the authors describe how to recognize the pitfalls of polarization or false agreement, either of which can lead to collective folly – a phenomenon with which recent history has made us all too familiar. And they offer a set of practices to help readers maintain the key lessons of the book.

The Power of Collective Wisdom is a foundational book for an emerging field of study and practice relevant to everyone seeking more effective and satisfying ways of working with others.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781605095752
Publisher:
Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
10/01/2009
Series:
none
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
239
File size:
2 MB

What People are saying about this

Parker J. Palmer
"This book, full of experience-based principles and practices, can help everyone learn how to access the wisdom of groups and communities. Equally important, it can help us avoid the power of collective folly -- and, I might add, collective evil -- of which we have seen too much in our time."--(Parker J. Palmer author of A Hidden Wholeness, Let Your Life Speak, and The Courage to Teach)
Angeles Arrien
"Lao Tzu reminds us that anything propelled by wisdom serves the greater good. The Power of Collective Wisdom illustrates the inspirational possibilities available when the health of the larger whole becomes more important than personal agendas. It is practical, instructive, and relevant to our times."--(Angeles Arrien, Ph.D. Editor of the anthology Working Together and author of The Four-Fold Way)
Peter Coughlan
"The Power of Collective Wisdom gives the world a new vocabulary to distinguish the various states and stages of wisdom. Finally, a book that explains what collecitive wisdom is, and how to harness this wisdom if we hope to survive as a species!"--(Peter Coughlan, Partner and Coleader of Transformation Practice, IDEO)
Margaret J. Wheatley
"Wisdom appears most readily when we are willing to be together, in patience, acceptance and curiosity. This gift of a book reacquaints us with this fundamental human experience and provides gentle, skilled guidance for how we might encourage wisdom to enter us."--(Margaret J. Wheatley, author of Leadership and the New Science and Turning To One Another"

Meet the Author

Briskin is a consultant, speaker, and senior editor of the Collective Wisdom Initiative.

Erickson is the founding partner of Turning Point and the principle investigator of the Collective Wisdom Initiative.

Callanan is a Program Officer at the Fetzer Institute.

Ott is the founder of John G. Ott & Associates.

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