Collective Intelligence : how to bring new ideas to your company

What is collective intelligence?

Collective intelligence represents the intellectual abilities that result from the interactivity of a community or a group of individuals. It develops through learning in small groups and can help to solve larger problems through team thinking. Collective intelligence is the intelligence of the work teams.

Contrary to common belief, Collective Intelligence is not the sum of the individual intelligence of each member of the group. It goes much further than that because it encourages us to use more than the achievements of each. Each individual in the group will participate in a reflection and acquire new solutions and skills. The collective intelligence resulting from these exchanges will be higher than the intelligence of all the members of the group combined (with the collective intelligence, we are on a 1 + 1 = 3 diagram).

Why promote collective intelligence?

It allows a more complete understanding of the problems through a common reflection where everyone can correct the mistakes of others. It also boosts the skills of everyone at a higher level. For example, an average employee will be able to accomplish more complex tasks through this process, as he or she can benefit from the intelligence of peers who will improve their thinking and make them consider more possibilities.

When teams participate in our challenges, it happens that a person can not find a correct answer to a problem. His peers will then be able to leave him an anonymous comment to help him better assimilate a concept, and give him some leads. He will then be able to answer the problem more easily.

Collective intelligence forces us to confront our ideas to the judgment of others. Constructive criticism and the knowledge of each bring us to a more effective resolution of the problem. It helps to create a dynamic that is good for thinking and finding solutions.

The collective intelligence already present in companies?

It is often present in the day-to-day work of a company through intellectual cooperation during group reflection, however, it remains rather weak, because the ideal framework is not always developed to encourage it. Certain conditions must be met to max out the collective intelligence and to benefit as many people as possible.

Some companies are used to set up a “peer group”. It’s a group that meets from time to time and discusses the different issues of the company and possible solutions. This is something very effective regarding collective intelligence since it is the company that proposes and encourages this initiative. During these meetings, everyone is free to talk about their activity and help others by giving them tips to improve their function.

Requirements to benefit from the collective intelligence

First of all, you have to build a team that has a good variety of knowledge and skills, so that everyone can bring something relevant. You need to gather different perspectives. Even if team members do not have the same skills, they will share anyway and at some point, it will help the group to move forward. This is much more interesting than composing a team with similar skills.

It can be interesting to create links between people through learning methods like Peer Learning. This way they can learn to work together and start developing collaborative habits, which naturally leads to a Collective Intelligence framework.

Neuroscience tells us that to create a group cohesion and make people effectively collaborate, you have to have people talking to each other and everyone must be involved in finding a solution to the problem. It requires creating a common goal or a solution that forces people to interact together. In return, the results will have a positive effect on the motivation, the relevance of the answers and the overall satisfaction.

Peer Learning, a good introduction to Collective Intelligence?

Peer Learning is based on give-and-take. Learners exchange together to find an answer together. It’s a good introduction to Collective Intelligence because you learn how to have a group discussion. It’s a method that develops the collaboration and sharing of knowledge between individuals. There are many ways to develop Collective Intelligence, but Peer Learning is definitely one of them.

ChallengeMe is based on collective intelligence

The whole platform is based on collective intelligence. When you answer the challenges within small groups, individual bits of intelligence merge and create the collective intelligence. It’s a method directly related to Peer Learning. This allows a better visibility on the different problems, but also a wider range of answers and details.

At the end of each challenge, we display the best answers that are evaluated by the members of the team. It allows to improve the sharing of knowledge and to strengthen the collective intelligence of the group, by giving visibility to the preferred solutions.

With ChallengeMe’s platform, it is easier to orient your teams towards a common goal and to promote collaboration as much as possible, as well as exchanges between the different members of the team.

In conclusion:

Collective intelligence goes beyond simple mutual aid, it’s pure collaboration. It solves much bigger problems through knowledge sharing and in-depth thinking. It’s not too difficult to put a collective intelligence framework in place, however, it requires a certain rigor in the preparation of the team and a minimum of seriousness from its members.