Sure, its over used. But it is true. We are better together. Here’s four ways how:
- More is Better: You have a problem. Maybe you need to find work and make some money. Ask a group of people for a solution, maybe a job referral. You will get a number of answers or referrals. There is a good probability that you will get an answer that is better than your own, something you hadn’t thought of (remember to return the favour).
- Crowdsource Wisdom: You have a question. Maybe you need to estimate how long it takes to complete a standard project xyz. You ask a large number of qualified people to give their best estimates. Perhaps no one has exactly the right answer. But there is a good probability that the average of all those answers is very close!
- Brainstorming Synergy: You need a creative new solution because the old ones aren’t working. Maybe you need a new slogan for your business. You describe the situation and ask for input from a number of friends. They separately submit their own ideas to a pool or forum. Everyone reviews the shared ideas. Then in a second round of brainstorming they start thinking of new ideas that they hadn’t thought of earlier. You now have a lot of great ideas! You can then run a third round with the group to critically review and select the best new original idea! This is synergy, where the whole (group) is greater than or different from the sum of the parts (individuals).
- Apply Talent to Task: You need to complete a project but you don’t have all the required skills for the various project components. Recruit trusted people who have the talents that you don’t have and delegate the appropriate tasks to them. Recognize and reward them accordingly. Rinse and repeat!
Humans have always been social animals who depend on co-operation. As our world gets more complex we need to turn more often to these simple methods of collective intelligence to expand our world of possibilities and get things done!
Keep in mind the following:
- Make it FUN!: Creativity can be fun for its own sake, but making it fun will attract more people and probably generate more good ideas.
- Reciprocate: It can be difficult to evaluate each person’s contribution, so keep track and be ready to help others in a similar fashion when they ask. This should be a win-win experience.
- Give Credit: Show appreciation for the contributions of others, even small contributions. This builds a culture of collaboration that serves everyone.
- Diversity and Inclusion: This is not a political movement, its always been part of the facts of life — including a diverse range of backgrounds in your group will usually produce better surprises and outcomes
- Trust and Respect: Trust, respect and fair play will always be valid requirements for any collaboration. It will usually be reciprocated.