How many pizzas would it take to feed your investment committee?
Optimal committee/team size is a great question: NEPC’s survey finds most investment committees are 7+ people, but would prefer to be 4-6.
Team behavioral expert Harvard Professor Richard Hackman said optimal is 6, definitely not more than 9.
Authors Sunstein & Hastie note the crossovers from wise groups to madness of crowds in their book Wiser (social loafing, peer influencing, hidden info, ambiguous uncertain domains).
Across domains, in agile development guidelines for scrum teams say 5-9.
And Jeff Bezos famously said that 2 pizzas needs to be enough to feed any meeting room.
So what is the right size for an investment committee? Tweet me with thoughts.
Postscript – diversity, accountability and other factors are in practice possibly as least as important as size in team effectiveness. A lot of the reasons for this are covered by Cass Sunstein and Reid Hastie’s excellent book wiser which I summarised here. I also write more about designing governance systems for investing to try and address some of these challenges here.