Collective Intelligence: The power of smarter, quicker team thinking

Janine Garner

Janine is a businesswoman and entrepreneur, passionate about the return to open and transparent corporate relationships and the power of commercial collaboration in future-proofing careers and businesses. Janine is the author of <i>From Me To We – Why commercial collaboration will future-proof business, leaders and personal success</i> published by Wiley. She is the founder and CEO of LBDGroup and works with senior leaders to build high-performing teams.

When we think about the bottom line in business, the immediate jump is fiscal performance – how much value do we have in terms of cold hard cash? What sort of reserves do we currently hold; what sort of profit margin do we have in place? Are we in the red, or the black?

In a business environment that is only growing more and more unstable, fast-paced and demanding, there is more we need to consider when measuring success. The reality is this – the consumer can have what they want, when they want it, with a constant stream of new products, new apps, new concepts, and new information, that are downloadable, deliverable and easily digestible 24/7. Just because you were the best five minutes ago, doesn’t guarantee that you will be five minutes into the future.

In fact, if you are serious about future-proofing your business, then you need to be ready to think outside the box of traditional success measures.

Collective or collaborative intelligence on a commercial level is the new currency. Appreciating the value of an ‘intellectual bank’ and what it brings to your business is not just forward-thinking on a theoretical level, it’s bottom-line positive as well.

As leaders, as colleagues, the opportunity to engage on a team level brings strategic power to an organisation or enterprise that is simply not possible with people working in silos – in the ‘me’ space. There is no sharing of thoughts, or discussion that leads to development.

Move into the ‘we’ space, however – that space of collaborative team engagement – and the thought space opens up.

Take the example of Apple. Steve Jobs was the visionary; but was he the only big thinker within the company? His death led many to predict that it would take a nosedive in market share and profitability. But Jobs was the first to say that the reason for Apple’s success was the strength of the team.

This year, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced record first-quarter profits, and said: “The execution by our teams to achieve these results was simply phenomenal”.

The value of team thought means improvement and innovation. Put a team of big thinkers on a project or challenge and you have:

  • discussion and debate
  • a sharing of expertise and insight
  • negotiation on concept and vision
  • team engagement and innovative thinking on the ideal solution for the success of the company
  • growth and profit potential

The isolation of working alone is endemic in making that bottom line look less a healthy. Take your own performance structure as an example. If you are constantly focusing inwards, seeing only what you need to do to achieve your own KPIs and bonuses, you miss out on banking others’ knowledge.

It’s rapidly becoming apparent that skills are an increasingly valuable commodity for business. You could, for example, suggest to a teammate that you ‘swap’ a skill for a skill – teach each other something you previously had no knowledge of. It will stand you in good stead.

Collaborative thinking, togetherness, really does drive the momentum of change. If you think that an idea could be bettered then as a group you have the ability to use your collective voice. Yes, this may mean collaboration rather than isolation and it may be uncomfortable in the short term, but the long-term rewards benefit the team rather than the individual.

Team or collaborative thinking is all about invention. It’s the rationale behind Google, Microsoft, AirbNb. It is fast becoming part of the measure of a company’s emotional intelligence. Luckily, it is also becoming part of the measure of that ever-present spectre – the bottom of the P&L statement.

Tags: strategy

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

State of the CMO 2019

CMO’s State of the CMO is an annual industry research initiative aimed at understanding how ...

More whitepapers

Blog Posts

Taking performance cues from east Asian markets

As the ‘Asian century’ becomes ever more prevalent and the Fourth Industrial Revolution gathers speed, marketers are having to surf a tidal wave of creative destruction. The choice is stark: Embrace change, or resign yourself to a Darwinian fate.

Dr Chris Baumann

Associate professor, Macquarie University

Searching for social and marketing data

Many marketers, agencies - and everyone in between - get caught up on bubble references and data points. They’ll use Facebook best practice as the only best practice for Facebook executions and only consider metrics and responses of the one channel they’re expected to deliver on.

Isaac Lai

Connections strategy lead, VMLY&R Sydney

Why Australia needs more leaders

A few weeks ago, our Prime Minister, Scott Morrison took it upon himself to tell companies and their CEOs where to go when it came to societal issues. It wasn’t an organisation’s place to get involved. Instead, he said it should be left to governments to solve societies challenges.

Dan Banyard

Managing director, Edentify

Congratulations! So good to see a business turnaround with a good omni channel email lead strategy.Antanthonyidle.com

Anthony Idle

How Total Tools overhauled its omnichannel marketing

Read more

Well, you can always improve your service. Your customers will appreciate your efforts.

Mike Thompson

Report: Australian customer experience good but not great

Read more

Thanks for sharing! Terracotta Jewellery Online Shopping Ethnic Jewellery Online Shopping

Cotton Sarees Online

How data is driving the customers of a lifetime for BaubleBar

Read more

Informative blog. Xero is a well-known revolutionized accounting software, specifically developed to provide best User Experience and mak...

NavkarConsultancyServices

Xero evolves to fit a changing marketplace

Read more

&gt;Writes article about how to show diversity in an authentic way&gt;All featured opinions are from white women

Jennifer Metcalfe

Food for Thought: How can brands show diversity in an authentic way?

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in