None of us is as smart as all of us.

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Factors That Contribute To Team Intelligence

I recently read a white paper by MIT titled, “What Makes a Strong Team? Using Collective Intelligence to Predict Team Performance in League of Legends” and it demonstrated that (a) groups could be characterized by a collective intelligence (CI) factor that measures their ability to perform together on a wide range of different tasks, and (b) this factor can predict groups’ performance on other jobs in the future.

Understanding Collective Intelligence

First off, CI can only exist if there is a “system” and there are “rules.” More specifically, there has to be a system or container where the game is played, and there have to be rules of engagement (everyone needs to know where to show up and how to contribute). In the case of the MIT study, the parameters were built around tasks in a popular multi-player game called League of Legends.

Where C.I. Can Exist But Doesn’t Entirely*

  1. The corporate world is widely known for its command-and-control management where the workplace leans on star players. Individual intelligence is a priority, in this case, and its used to bolster company/departments via top-down leadership across teams through dictation and control.
  2. In the case of academia, for example, students show up with the individual goal in mind of passing the class, those students are not a collectively intelligent unit because they aren’t inherently working together (unless they are).

How to Raise Collective Intelligence

According to the MIT study — groups composed of individuals with the ability to perceive subtle emotional and interpersonal cues are better equipped to develop higher levels of CI. Women score higher on tests of such skills, on average, explaining in part why having more women in a group raises CI.

Work Smarter Together.

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