Andy’s Quick Hits (5): The Science of How to Form Intelligent Teams (spoiler: include women)

In business, and others ares, we want to have groups of people making smart decisions. This group intelligence is labelled Collective Intelligence in the research and more research is coming out showing hard data on how to form groups that can make collectively intelligent decisions and solve complex problems.

And the answer is not the default answer of many people and most business, of just throwing a group of smart people together.

So what is the best way to have intelligent groups or teams?

Well a recently published analysis of 22 studies, including 5,279 individuals in 1,356 groups shows this:

  • Collaboration processes are the most important factor (and collaborative ability including communication)
  • Individual skill (i.e. knowledge and competencies) is important
  • Group composition (including diverse skills but also women, see below)

And interestingly the mediating factors are:

  • Proportion of women in the group is significant predictor of group performance!
  • Social perception i.e. social intelligence was also a major mediating factor.

So if you want collective intelligence in your business, and I am sure you do, you should manage collaborative processes, have the right skills, have diversity, include women, and select for social intelligence and communicative abilities.

For a more detailed review of some team performance aspects see my post “The Average Performers Who Enable High Performance

The brain and human behaviour, in business, society, learning, and health.

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