Ideas, as Socrates noted centuries ago, often are judged by their source. Hence, a common fallacy--one that is more widespread than is recognized by most--is to reject, or accept, a proposal because of the person advancing it. While ideas are best evaluated on criteria independent of their source, it is clear that the “right source” can advance proposals that might otherwise receive little attention. Of course, seldom are we prophets in our homeland, so it was not surprising to me that two thirds (65%) of the 50 directors selected randomly indicated that they had used the strategy of the outside expert. Among the 12 communities in which field studies were conducted, the proportion using this strategy was 100 percent.
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