Feb 3, 2016

By Beate Boodoo – CG Circles

Collective intelligence is on the tip of everyone’s tongues these days. But what is this phenomenon often described as a new resource to boost creativity and productivity?

Ken Blanchard, expert in leadership and author of the bestseller “The One Minute Manager,” said “None of us is as smart as all of us”. This quote perfectly sums up the concept of collective intelligence.  Collective intelligence aims to connect cognitive abilities in order to harness the power of diversity and the dynamics of a group. The idea is that a group of individuals provides better understanding, more effective insight and a greater number of responses than any individual could provide alone. In short, a group’s intelligence is considered to be higher than the sum of the individual’s intelligence.

With the undeniable power of this concept, collaborative models are blooming everywhere we look. Co-working, co-development and co-creation are just a few examples that are based on collective intelligence. And their successes confirm that together we can go much further.

Concretely, we can see three main drivers for this trend:

Decrease in solitude

All approaches of collective intelligence help to avoid or reduce the feeling of loneliness as it relates to one’s position, job or environment. Going out and being open to meeting and exchanging with other people in similar situations promotes confidence, motivation and creativity. Boosted by connections that are formed very quickly, people no longer feel “alone”.

Seeing the world with different glasses

In one of his leadership courses, Michel Fiol, emeritus professor at HEC Paris, explains to students that everyone sees reality in their own way. He goes on to say that, based on our experiences and our character, we get used to our “glasses” and our way of seeing things. From one point of view, one sees only a small area of ​​reality. By changing glasses, listening and accepting other points of view, we expand our scope which helps us to better understand complex situations. With the help of others, we are more likely to think “outside of the box” as we discover innovative ideas to break through barriers and overcome hurdles. A stream of creativity starts to flow.

Boosting reflection

Considered one of the greatest authors on success, Napoleon Hill back in 1930 had already described in his timeless bestseller “Think and Grow Rich”, the benefits of group dynamics. According to him, ideas multiply exponentially when we gather to brainstorm in a confidential environment. He called this principle “mastermind” because in the free flow of ideas, a kind of motivating force appears, referred to as the mastermind. It is a phenomenon that everyone has already seen when people meet and discuss; indeed, suddenly ideas come up, which individually would have never emerged.

Collective intelligence is so attractive that more and more people incorporate it into their lifestyles and work. Why not you? Test these concepts and you’ll see that “None of us is as smart as all of us”!


About the Author

Beate Boodoo, founder of CG Circles, is a business economist and a lawyer with 18 years of experience across multiple fields. Multidisciplinary, multicultural and multilingual, she focuses today on the benefits of collective intelligence and diversity. Inspired by her experiences working for herself as well as within companies in several countries, she considers the collaboration between people from different cultures and backgrounds as a key factor for sustainable professional development. Building links within and amongst companies, she fosters and facilitates innovative and creative ideas emerging from cross-cultural and cross-industrial exchange.

Coming up soon:
Workshop on “Collective Growth for Professionals” on Feb. 24th, 2016. Details and registration here

Published by A City for Her

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