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Working Smarter Together  

2009-07-30 18:07:51|  分类: 英语学习 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Taking advantage of what’s there

 

How can firms tap into the collective wisdom? One intriguing method of doing this is to set up internal decision markets, which firms can use to produce forecasts of the future and evaluations of potential corporate strategies. Few companies have tried such markets. But the few examples suggest they could be very useful. In the late 1990s, for instance, Hewlett-Packard experimented with artificial markets to forecast sales. Only 20 to 30 percent of employees participated, and each market ran for just a week, with people trading at lunch and in the evening. Similar to the way securities, stocks or commodities are traded in other markets, employees were given “shares” to trade, buy or sell according to their opinion about sales projections. The internal market’s results outperformed the company 75 percent of the time. Even more impressive was a recent experiment at e. Lilly, a division of Eli Lilly, which set up a market to test whether it was possible to distinguish between drug candidates likely to be approved by the FDA and those likely to be rejected. Realistic profiles and experimental data for six hypothetical drugs were devised by e. Lilly, three of which it knew would be approved and three rejected. When trading opened, the market—made up of a diverse mix of employees— quickly identified the winners.

 

The evidence is clear: Groups— whether top executives evaluating a potential acquisition, or sales reps and engineers analyzing a new product—will consistently make better decisions than an individual. Companies have spent too long coddling the special few. It’s time for them to start figuring out how they’re going to tap the wisdom of the many.

 

Vocabulary Focus

tap into (v phr) to obtain or make advantageous use of something

candidate (n) [5kAndidit] a person or thing considered likely to receive or experience something

hypothetical (adj) [7haipEu5WetikEl] imagined or suggested but not necessarily real or true

 

合作生巧

 

利用现成优势

公司如何获得集体智慧?一个颇有吸引力的方法是建立内部决策市场,公司可借此产生对未来的预测以及对公司潜在策略的评估。很少有公司尝试这么做。但几个少有的例子透露出这个方法可能很有用。譬如,在20世纪90年代末期,惠普公司(HP)实验用虚拟市场来预测销售。只有20%~30%的员工参与,每个市场为期1周,员工在午餐时和晚上交易。类似证券、股票或期货在其它市场交易的方式,员工们被给予“股份”作交易,根据他们对销售预测的意见来买卖。有75%的时候,内部市场的结果表现超过公司。最近的一个实验甚至更让人印象深刻,e.Lilly 是礼来公司的一个部门,他们建立一个市场来试验是否能分辨出可能被美国食品及药物管理局核准和驳回的候选药品。e.Lilly 为6种假想的药品设计了真实简介和实验数据,他们知道其中3种会被核准,另3种会被驳回。交易开始时,由各种员工混合组成的市场很快就分辨出哪些是赢家。

证据很明显:无论是高层主管们评估潜在的收购案,或是业务代表和工程师们在分析新产品,团体都比单一个人更能持续地作出较好的决定。公司已经花了太久的时间宠溺那些特别的少数分子。现在是开始想想要如何获得多数智慧的时候了。

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