New York, Aug 15 (IANS) Do you constantly share ideas, knowledge and answers with your employees on email and various social media platforms? It may not be effective in solving problems and instead would crush their creativity, a new study has found.
The study, led by researchers from the Harvard University in Boston, showed that sharing knowledge intermittently might be better help in solving complex problems.
The groups that interacted only intermittently had an average quality of solution, preserved enough variation to find some of the best solutions, rather than succumbing to the worst.
According to researchers, organisations had been traditionally working intermittently — individuals working alone, then coming together in a meeting, then returning to work alone, etc.
However, the constant advancement of technology has broken these cycles.
“As we replace those sorts of intermittent cycles with always-on technologies, we might be diminishing our capacity to solve problems well,” said Ethan Bernstein, Associate Professor at the Harvard’s Business School.
In the study, published in the journal PNAS, the team found that when high performers interacted with low performers constantly, there was little to learn from them because low performers mostly just copied high performers’ solutions and high performers likely ignored them.
But when high performers interacted intermittently with low performers, they were able to learn something from them that helped them achieve even greater solutions to the problem.
The march towards always-on technology and more and more digital collaboration tools at work should not disturb the intermittent isolation that those practices bring, lest it keep groups from achieving their best collective performance in solving complex problems, the researchers warned.