Funnies Extra!

School Board spins Implications Wheel

2/26/09 (Thu)

You’ve heard the old adage that a camel is a horse designed by committee. The Beulah School Board wants to prove that a large group of people, properly motivated and structured, can plan for the future better than any one single mind.

In the book "The Wisdom of Crowds," author James Surowiecki says;

"If you assemble a group and ask them to make decisions affecting matters of interest to them, that group’s decisions will usually be superior to the smartest or most informed individual in the group."

One aspect that makes up the wisdom of crowds is diversity of opinion. Each person has information and a point of view that others may not have. It is also important that each member of the group have independence of thought, so that their opinion is not influenced by those around them. What’s needed after that is a system for capturing the collective wisdom of the group.

The Beulah School Board has taken themselves, school administrators and teachers, as well as some parents and students, back to the classroom. Using a system called Strategic Explorations and software known as the Implications Wheel, representatives from all areas within the school are putting their minds together to plan for the future.

The system has been used at the state level to address the problem of declining enrollment, and districts around the state have used the system to address specific problems they’ve identified.