Does Better Judgment Come With Age? – Tom Davenport – Harvard Business Review

The executive or manager who relies too much on a single or small group of advisors ignores the wider diversity of opinion that can shape a better decision. This is particularly true considering the “echo-chamber effect” we have all seen some leaders fall prey to, where advisors are (however unconsciously) selected and endorsed because they already share the same worldview and are likely to go along with the gut reactions of the man or woman holding the power. If the advice put forward has the additional sheen of elder year experience, it may be all the more possible to believe that the “second opinion” is in fact an authoritative reinforcement of what was already decided.

Beware the wise elder. It’s not that he or she can’t offer good advice. It’s just that such experience can sometimes become a false and dangerous substitute for the breadth and diversity of opinion, combined with analytical rigor and shared problem-solving, that together make for great organizational judgment.

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