Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Smarter Teams

An interesting article was published in the New York Times recently reporting that, experimentally at least, teams have a measurable collective intelligence, and that this intelligence is drawn from unexpected wells.

We might expect that those teams had really smart leaders and high IQs in general than others. It seems reasonable in today's world where we respect individual skills and individual characteristics and bank so much on the charisma and dominating spirit of strong leaders. That is why it is so interesting that this theory is entirely wrong.

Instead, there are three reported attributes that seem to favor some teams:
  1. Equality
  2. Empathy
  3. More females in the population.
The second, empathy, was a bit surprising only because male developers pride themselves on separating their feelings from their work -- compartmentalizing the subjective from the subject matter. Maybe that was wrong all along also, and a barrier to passionate or fulfilling work.

In short, we don't need more Captain Kirk or more Mister Spock. Apparently, we're smarter to go with  Lt. Troi.

Pop over and take a look. I don't know that it will change the minds of individualistic hero-worshipping paternalistic organizations or leaders, but maybe it will start some conversations we've been needing to have for a long time. 

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