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Prologue to The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools, and Societies
[The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools, and Societies]

  • Scott E. Page

    (University of Michigan, Santa Fe Institute)

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    In this landmark book, Scott Page redefines the way we understand ourselves in relation to one another. The Difference is about how we think in groups--and how our collective wisdom exceeds the sum of its parts. Why can teams of people find better solutions than brilliant individuals working alone? And why are the best group decisions and predictions those that draw upon the very qualities that make each of us unique? The answers lie in diversity--not what we look like outside, but what we look like within, our distinct tools and abilities. The Difference reveals that progress and innovation may depend less on lone thinkers with enormous IQs than on diverse people working together and capitalizing on their individuality. Page shows how groups that display a range of perspectives outperform groups of like-minded experts. Diversity yields superior outcomes, and Page proves it using his own cutting-edge research. Moving beyond the politics that cloud standard debates about diversity, he explains why difference beats out homogeneity, whether you're talking about citizens in a democracy or scientists in the laboratory. He examines practical ways to apply diversity's logic to a host of problems, and along the way offers fascinating and surprising examples, from the redesign of the Chicago "El" to the truth about where we store our ketchup. Page changes the way we understand diversity--how to harness its untapped potential, how to understand and avoid its traps, and how we can leverage our differences for the benefit of all.

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    This chapter was published in: Scott E. Page , , pages , 2007.
    This item is provided by Princeton University Press in its series Introductory Chapters with number 8353-1.
    Handle: RePEc:pup:chapts:8353-1
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