Thursday, June 9, 2011

Getting Credit for Making Other People Shine - Andrea Ovans - Our Editors - Harvard Business Review

Imagine that you're the leader of a group project, and it's going great. Together your team has produced something far better than each of you could have done on your own. How do you give people credit not just for what each one contributed — but for making their teammates more effective?

Here's an intriguing approach — a twist on, of all things, the typical high-school debate.

High-school debating tournaments in the U.S. follow something called the "Lincoln-Douglas Debate" format (who knew it had a name?) in which teams square off against each other to argue either the affirmative or the negative side of some issue (guns or income taxes or immigration). It's a zero-sum game: The team that does the best job arguing its side wins. By definition, winning involves tearing the other side down. Change the scoring just a little bit and you can turn a test of wills into a test of people's collaboration chops. At least that's the idea behind computer scientist/philosopher Brian Christian's "Anti-Lincoln-Douglas debate," which he writes about in his new book The Most Human Human.

Click on the "Via" link for the full article.

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