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As contributors to businesses, sports teams, or governments, most of us take part in some sort of group problem solving. But what is the best way to collaborate on a difficult problem like developing a budget or designing a new product?

Past research on collective problem solving has come to conflicting conclusions. Some studies have found that people collaborate best when they can communicate with all other group members, emailing or meeting to exchange ideas continuously. Other studies have found that working in smaller subgroups is better, with each member communicating closely with a few neighbors.

Striking the right balance between exploration (searching for new ideas) and exploitation (taking an idea and running with it) requires matching a particular group’s social learning style with the right type of network, the study finds.

They discovered that network structure determines the success of the strategies, and vice versa. (1)

Searching for the new.

Staying loyal to what is true.

But what is true is always true.

It always was.

You seek the new and yet you know there is no such thing.

You want to stay loyal and yet every moment is something new.

Walk down the path you see in front.

You know you have passed before.

The flowers grow.

Listen to that river.

You know that river.

Every time…

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