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On May 22, 1968, at the height of the Vietnam War, a nuclear submarine named the USS Scorpion disappeared without a trace in the Mediterranean Sea. The navy launched an immediate search in the 2000 square miles between the Azores islands and Norfolk Virginia but finding the sub in this vast expanse of ocean seemed like an impossible task.
Ninety-nine families of the lost crewmembers were distraught and demanding an answer. And losing a piece of equipment that cost around $55 million dollars likely embarrassed the Navy. They were desperate. That’s when they turned to a Chief Scientist for the Polaris submarine program, named John Craven.
He assembled a team that included mathematicians, submarine experts, and salvage operators and asked them to make “educated” guesses about where the ship might have gone down. He happened to use a sophisticated mathematical formula to do the calculation, but in the end, even though the search area was gigantic, the ship was found within 220 yards of their prediction!
Author James Surowiecki, uses this story, among others, to illustrate what he describes as The Wisdom of Crowds. He says that groups can be remarkably smart, so the more people we ask, the better the solution is going to be.
This is exactly why we randomly selected 250 employees across the system from all shifts, and in all different kinds of jobs, to join us on August 7 and 8th for an event named Community’s “Employer of Choice Decision Accelerator”. We hope to tap the collective wisdom of our employees to get input on what you value most about Community’s culture, compensation and benefits and what we can do to retain you and attract other talented members of our community.
This won’t be just a study. We’re turning the results into an action plan because we really do believe that the many are smarter than the few.
We’re hoping to gain as much input as possible, so if you weren’t tapped to participate in the Employer of Choice Decision Accelerator, no worries! Please take a moment to post a note below to answer this question: “What do you value the most about working here?" Tell me both the tangible stuff (compensation, benefits, Target 100 activities, the Forum, pension, etc.) and the less tangible stuff (your team, our mission, other). Also, let me know what's missing and what we could do better. Any employee who posts -- with your name so I can get back to you -- will receive a $5 gift certificate to Jamba Juice! (No caffeine, but soooo healthy!)