Saturday, May 14, 2011

L.I.N.K.S. that Lure, Intrigue, Nurture, Kindle, or Stimulate, Part 4

This collection of L.I.N.K.S., fourth in the series, has a theme: building informed and engaged organizations, teams, and individuals. There are three links for each of the three levels. Please comment on these or share your favorites.

1. Organizations can be corporations or cities--large, complex groups of people with many constituent sub-groups. Here, the goal is to recognize and understand diversity, and promote peace and understanding in the pursuit of mutually beneficial objectives.

2. Teams can be business units, companies, sports teams, tactical military units, home owners associations, and so on. As opposed to larger, more diverse organizations, teams usually are organized around a smaller number of mutually agreed upon goals and objectives. Individuals in teams usually have a role to play and are accountable to teammates and others who rely on them.

3. Individuals are people, each with his own unique skills, knowledge, and abilities. Individuals also have their own motives, needs, preferences, and ways of looking at the world. As people change over time, their goals and objectives also change. 

Note about polls and poll design, and why I grouped Gallup and Pew in different levels. Public opinion polls reflect the aggregated opinions of individuals. The data can be disaggregated into constituent subgroups as well. Two types of polls are trend and flash. Trend polls are designed to show trends over time (e.g., the President's Approval Rating). For these, the same questions are asked to the same sample group on a recurring basis. In contrast are flash polls, designed to show responses to a particular question (e.g., predict who will win an election). Gallup and Pew conduct both types of polls. In my experience, Gallup has made more of an effort to aggregate poll results to national and even global levels, and Pew has more often disaggregated results to illustrate important distinctions between subgroups. Illustrative examples include  Gallup's survey of the world's Muslim population, and Pew's recent political typology study, in which people are sorted into a political bin based upon their answers to 20 questions. I grouped Gallup with Organizations and Pew with Teams to reflect this perceived difference in respective poll designs and intent. Check them both out!