I have some questions about the best way to use our very best talent. These are based on my reading of Organising Genius, which profiles “great groups” like Disney, the Manhattan Project, Apple, and asks what it takes for such groups to succeed. The purpose of asking this question is that we need more such groups to make progress. No argument from me: look at covid!
Also re “purpose” - I actually this is easier to do. From the outside those might look a bit “cult-like” but corporate purpose doesn’t have to be too existential (tho cf climate) you can make it about group values, serving the the customer etc. but intrinsic motivation does seem to be important. Ie not all about the money, but I think this is doable without x-risks or externalities.
I think (1) is a live question. I can see groups where a team has an extraordinary person in it maybe top 0.1% and they lift everyone else in group up, but the group average itself is maybe top 25%. And supposedly “psychological safety” is also a key property of a high performing group. - there is also personality or culture fit - eg if whole group has autistic thinkers in it - maybe not be as good as one or two autistic thinkers and a diverse range - even if they are all brilliant.
The idea that its better to keep smart kids integrated with the rest (because they are of help for weaker kids but get little benefit themselves by being separated) is, as far as I can remember, based on studies where the smart separated kids followed the same curriculum and pace as they would have otherwise. So its not surprising they don't learn much faster! When you remove that condition, they can of course move much faster - and the benefit of segregating them goes up.
That of course does not answer your question: is the benefit of this speed up bigger or smaller than the loss for the ones that are left behind? My guess is that the benefit from separating out smart people is bigger and getting more so as technology increasingly leverage the capacity of small groups.