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5 Ways Collective Intelligence Helps Build Smart Teams

Featured Best Practice on Team Management

111-slide PowerPoint presentation
In today's flexible working model where employees work from home and the office, the ongoing challenges of creating the magical bond between team members can be elusive. Moreover, it has become increasingly challenging, since we have been moving from the emphasis on social skills to technical [read more]

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To be a competitive in today’s digital age, it’s important to leverage the power of collective intelligence (CI). CI helps measure a group’s effectiveness on several tasks.

The concept behind CI is that teams come up with better ideas when they share the information with one another rather than if they attempted to do it on their own.

study by MIT revealed that collective intelligence is also an effective indicator for predicting team performance and those teams that use CI often come out strong. In fact, there are many ways you can leverage collective intelligence to build smart teams. Here’s how:

1. Collective Intelligence Facilitates Sharing Insight

Without insight, your team can’t take the necessary actions that will help your company stay competitive. But when you take advantage of collective intelligence, you can support the sharing of ideas and insight.

That’s because when everyone on the team can share their ideas, your team can flourish and offer smarter solutions to solve problems that may arise. Encouraging sharing insight doesn’t have to be limited to a face-to-face environment.

For example, at my app development company, Arkenea, we encourage sharing information online by using a web-based collaborative platform that has a whiteboard or message board where team members can create posts to share new concepts with the team.

2. CI Drives Inclusion and Diversity

When your team goes beyond the thought process that “group think” of homogenous groups bring with the help of CI, you can drive inclusion and diversity.

Several studies reveal that when more women are on your team, you have a higher chance of producing a smarter team. According to an MIT study, when women are included in a group the CI of the group increases. Thus, it’s critical to promote inclusion and diversity among your teams, including when it comes to gender.

One way you can do this is to ensure your teams include an adequate amount of women on the team. Keep in mind that smart people and an all-woman team don’t always correlate with increased CI. But by including more women on your team projects, you can potentially drive smarter solutions to resolve pain points for your customers.

Also, team members with a high level of status, such as the project leader or supervisor, should encourage team members to participate and ask if there are any opposing thoughts. This helps also to drive inclusion so that your team can have a different perspective on the matter.

3. It Encourages Hiring Collaborative and Positive People

The people who work for you can either help you build your business up or bring your business down. That’s why it’s important to hire team members who are not only collaborative but positive, too.

When you have team members who aren’t willing to work with others and who complain about everything or who have a negative attitude, they can easily bring down the morale of the group. Negative workers can actually reduce your team’s CI.

So, be strategic about the team members you hire. Consider hiring individuals who embrace collaboration and have a positive attitude, whether you’re hiring software developers or design professionals. For example, ask questions about past projects and how the candidate whom you’re considering hiring handled issues on the team.

This helps you to identify the thought process of the candidate and help determine their collaborative skills and attitude towards teamwork. With positive, collaborative people, you can help build smart teams that become more effective and productive in the long run.

4. CI Drives Conversation

Effective communication is critical in-group collaborations. But it’s even more important that each person is able to take a turn with voicing their thoughts and sharing their ideas.

Research from Carnegie Mellon revealed that a group’s competitive intelligence diminishes when one person dominates the conversation. That’s why it’s important to recognize when only one person is taking control of the group.

With CI, you can drive conversation to help build and retain a smarter team. For instance, for a more productive meeting, you can encourage everyone to provide feedback on an idea by having everyone write out suggestions or have each team member take turns going around the meeting table to express their ideas. This helps ensure that everyone has a chance to share insight and is participating in the conversation.

5. It Facilitates Social Sensitivity and Collaborative Planning

Being able to have an awareness of one’s mental state of mind is a critical aspect of CI. This action is referred to as Theory in Mind and it takes into account one’s beliefs, knowledge, desires, emotions and intentions and provides an understanding on the action of others or how they may act.

A smart team member can use this information to understand how to treat a social situation and research shows that team members’ average social perceptiveness can indicate CI.

The science behind this is that those who are able to identify various social cues can use the information that is shared during team meetings in a better way than those who cannot.

This helps to facilitate social sensitivity and collaborative planning as team members are able to pick up on what can help drive engagement to motivate everyone in the group to participate and share their thoughts. For example, your team members can recognize the contributions of other team members, which may encourage more team members to share and plan together on future projects.

128-slide PowerPoint presentation
This presentation is a collection of PowerPoint diagrams and templates used to convey 26 different Team Management models and frameworks. INCLUDED MODELS/FRAMEWORKS: 1. Mintzberg's Management Roles Model 2. Butler & Waldroop's Four Dimensions of Relational Work Model 3. Lencioni's [read more]

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About Rahul Varshneya

Rahul Varshneya is the co-founder of Benchpoint. Rahul has been featured as a business technology thought leader in numerous media channels such as Bloomberg TV, Forbes, HuffPost, Inc, among others.

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