Collective Intelligence For Teams Inspired From Nature

Whilst it’s true that the rise Artificial Intelligence threatens industries and jobs alike, it also presents an opportunity for humans and teams to embrace the new paradigm by staying one step ahead and making themselves smarter and more capable in harnessing collective intelligence. The term collective intelligence refers to the resulting knowledge or wisdom that ensues when many agents or individuals are involved in a group and where this type of ‘intelligence’ cannot exist through an individual endeavour. It is therefore important that in the face of tectonic shifts in technology and the rise of intelligent machines coupled with the threat of automation; teams and humans embrace a form of ‘swarming’ in order to not only future proof themselves but create the right type of environment to achieve outcomes that could not be reached through individual pursuits. In this article, I refer to various examples of how Nature’s team achieve this ‘swarm intelligence’ and appropriate how these can be achieved in the organisational setting through Bioteaming.


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Creating Effective Team Communication Systems

Fire Ants Teamwork In Nature
Project and enterprise teams across all organisation types are perpetually exposed to a stream of information flows that ebb the natural tempo of processes, policies, system mechanics, codes of conduct and collaboration protocols. These collectively bring upon the information and knowledge economy and the biggest problem here is that everyone is constantly in flux amidst a conundrum of competing batches of instruction, directives and stimuli whilst being overwhelmed with attention deficits. So how do we nurture distributed and collective intelligence in a setting where directives, knowledge and information are constantly fighting for prioritisation? How do teams effectively manage communication and leverage unified communication platforms to drive smart behaviours that lead to focused outcomes? We do this by looking at how Nature has employed the oldest and most evolved form of biological signalling, using chemicals to communicate through smell and taste, but appropriating it for the organisational context.

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PathXL: Leading Edge Digital Collaboration in Pathology

The boundaries of digital collaboration extend way beyond document sharing and communications. PathXL are a Belfast-based Digital Collaboration/Big Data company who have developed workflow/data analytics software to help pathologists and clinicians make quicker, faster diagnoses of complex cancer tumour patterns and to work more effectively with colleagues in clinical cross-functional teams.

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Bioteams and Quorum Sensing

Very interesting article in The Wellcome Trust Science Writing Prize, Bacteria and the power of teamwork, which reveals the amazing ability of bacteria to “quorum sense” – i.e. know when they have critical mass to achieve their objective. Quorum Sensing is hugely important for human groups and one we often get badly wrong!

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Unfairness perception destroys team collaboration

One of the deadliest invisible killers in teams is the perception of unfairness: that some are rewarded beyond which their contribution merits. “Fairness perception” is a massively important but poorly understood team concept, which even extends beyond human teams into the animal kingdom. Here is how to successfully manage it.

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From Social Networking to Swarm Intelligence

A new area of research called “complexity science” embraces the notion that an ant colony and the human brain, the stock market and Facebook all have something in common. All are complex systems, basically huge networks made up of individual components whose behavior is difficult to predict. Kathleen Ryan O’Connor reports on Bioteams and Research from Binghamton University NY.

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New Digital Business Ecosystems Book: Download it free

The European Commission have recognised the massive strategic economic importance of Digital Business Ecosystems by publishing a hugely impressive multi-disciplinary book (240 pages) which seems to resonate with my own implementation-oriented ideas on Bioteams and The Networked Enterprise and merits detailed study by anyone interested in the convergence of business networks, digital technology and systems/ecosystems thinking. Download it free.

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The wisdom of ants and bees: democracy and elections

It is a natural human trait to believe that we (the species) are the inventors of all clever things. Not so. One of the humbling things that biomimicry teaches us very quickly is that many times Mother Nature has beaten us to it! For example, take one of our proudest achievements: elections and democracy….

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Innovative Organic Leadership model from New Zealand

The Tipu Ake Lifecycle is based on the analogy of a tree growing in a forest and subject to “pests” which try to constrain it, “birds” which plant the seeds for long term future for the species and “poisons” which inhibit the process of germination.

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