Why many heads are better than one!
Karl Duncker’s radiation question.
“What’s Karl Duncker and radiation got to do with business advisory boards?” you ask.
Whilst researching for a public presentation recently I came across the story about Karl Duncker and I realised it explained exactly why advisory boards are such a powerful tools for business owners.
Karl Duncker was a gestalt psychologist in the 1920’s. I will summarise the story here – you can “Google it” if you want the detail. Basically, Duncker researched how people solved problems. One scenario he used to give people went along the lines of (taken from Wikipedia):
Suppose you are a doctor faced with a patient who has a malignant tumour in his stomach.It is impossible to operate on the patient; but unless the tumour is destroyed the patient will die. There is a kind of ray that can be used to destroy the tumour. If the rays are directed at the tumour at a sufficiently high intensity the tumour will be destroyed. Unfortunately, at this intensity the healthy tissue that the rays pass through on the way to the tumour will also be destroyed. At lower intensities the rays are harmless to the healthy tissue but they will not affect the tumour either. What type of procedure might be used to destroy the tumour with the rays, and at the same time avoid destroying the healthy tissue? (Duncker; 1945; Gick & Holyoak, 1980, 1983; Keane, 1985)
Of course, one answer is to have multiple rays all focused on the tumour from different angles such that the combined strength will kill the tumour but individually they will not harm the good tissue.
Imagine you have an advisory board and that you take along a problem, issue, idea or project, which on your own you cannot move on from, and you table it to the board. Now you have many heads focusing on your issue from many different angles, experiences, skills etc. giving you ideas and solutions. It may only take one idea, one gold nugget, to totally change your business for the better. Just one seed of an idea is all it may take to return you significant gains on your time invested in attending the board.
Could you use the power of an advisory board?
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