Put collective intelligence into action

Put collective intelligence into action


1. How to put collective intelligence into action?

  • As we have seen previously, the collective cannot be decreed, it is impelled, learned, matured, and built progressively. It requires an initial investment in time, energy and confidence. To do this, it is necessary to :
  • Question the quality of the dialogue and exchanges: Is individual expression possible? Is there parity in speaking time? Does the team encourage the proliferation of ideas?
  • ⇒ Ex: You can set up speaking rounds where everyone's contribution is encouraged.

  • Ask yourself about the decision-making methods within the team, where the stakes are highest. Is there a decision-making protocol? Does the group decide and evaluate decisions together? Is everyone involved in the deliberation? Is there a mode of decision-making by consent? Are all team members involved in the decision to make it happen?
  • ⇒ You can co-construct with the team your decision-making methodology.

  • Qualities and resources to be implemented within the team
  • It is essential to define social protocols. Collective intelligence requires structure and flexibility! You can draw inspiration from the following qualities: listening, empathy, authenticity, congruence, non-judgment, benevolence, openness, trust, co-responsibility, autonomy, etc.

    ⇒ You can start by defining with the team an Alliance and your rules of collective intelligence.

  • Rotating roles in team meetings. The idea here is to take inspiration from bees who change roles throughout their lives according to the needs of the hive. In meetings, instead of one person trying to do everything - often the manager - an allocation of roles will allow everyone to be - and feel - fully contributive to the success of the group (these roles can change at each meeting).
  • ⇒ You can animate your meetings by assigning a certain number of roles, each corresponding to a particular focus, which adds a great deal of value.

2. The posture of the manager in a collective intelligence approach

Collective intelligence proposes a different paradigm. It is no longer expected that a hierarchical superior will make decisions for the group. It is essential to create the conditions that develop the power of the collective, to give rise to and support the culture best suited to the organisation's goals.

It is therefore essential for the manager to question himself, to better understand how leadership works and how it could be in synergy with collective intelligence and not in opposition to it.

"Power makes possible, power blocks. Power liberates, and power subordinates. Power accumulates energy, power squanders it.” Pierre Levy

"Being a leader at the MIT Media Lab is more like being a gardener than a CEO - watering the plants, tending to the compost, trimming the edges and then clearing the way for the explosion of creativity and life from all the plants and wildlife in the garden to flourish." Joi Ito

⇒ You can work on your ego, explore the Manager-Coach posture, and discover servant leadership.

3. Assess your capacity to co-create

Collective intelligence questions our capacity to co-create; here is a self-assessment grid to help you position yourself and define your areas of progress (Designed by F. Louesdon and A. Fortin)

For each of the following statements, answer honestly by giving a score from 0 to 10 (0=not at all, 10=a lot)
Score out of 10
1. I find it easy to contribute to the generation of ideas at meetings
2. I share my talents and resources with other members of my team
3. I am willing to benefit from the talents and resources of other members of my team
4. In team meetings, I take into account the minority opinions or original views of my colleagues
5. I tend to think across disciplines or perspectives (inter-disciplinarity)
6. During meetings, I use several types of learning or participation (visual, auditory, kinesthetic approaches, etc.)
7. I have a good understanding of the talents and resources that each member of my team can contribute
8. I am comfortable questioning and arguing with colleagues or partners
9. I have a good ability to get people to work together
10. I have a good capacity to get people to think deeply and collectively
Total out of 100

Reflection questions following the self-assessment:

  • What are my strengths and areas for improvement?
  • What could I do differently to develop my ability to co-create?

4. Tools that promote collective intelligence

There are many tools for putting collective intelligence into action, both face-to-face and remote. This will require you to explore them, understand their process, train yourself, be accompanied, acquire the posture of a facilitator and finally test them!

Here is a non-exhaustive list:

  • The discussion circle
  • The open forum
  • World café
  • Co-development
  • Bono hats
  • The appreciative approach
  • Design-thinking
  • Digital tools: Klaxoon , Miro, Jamboard, etc.