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.
Many of us have heard the story about the classical race between the tortoise and hare but did you know that there is a version 2.0 of that metaphor? In essence, there was a re-match as the rabbit wanted to prove that being the fastest and ergonomically conducive animal, it would win the second race. Here, the tortoise was obviously left behind but the hare came to a major roadblock in their race track i.e. the bank of a river. How could it possibly transcend this obstacle when it has no mechanics to swim and isn’t designed by Nature to even glide over water? The tortoise eventually caught up and in seeing the hare; offered to carry the hare on its back so that they could both cross the river bank and reach the finish line together!
Most approaches to project management concentrate on the tasks which need to be successfully completed to achieve the project goal. Important as this is, it is at most only half of the story of successful project management. The C3 approach addresses the hidden side of project management – the people-collaboration-end-result perspective and is also a powerful tool for conducting a quick project healthcheck.
A lot of my work involves facilitating large meetings where groups need to collaborate to resolve difficult issues or develop future plans for working together. Over the last 12 months I have started to share 4 Golden Rules with the participants which always seem to significantly improve the results we get. Here they are!
I have been piloting a radically different approach to meetings which I am calling “Egoless Meetings” which addresses three popular unwritten rules about good meeting practices which are unfortunately totally wrong. RULE 1 is that everybody gets to speak. RULE 2 is that discussions in themselves can be useful. RULE 3 is that when you meet you must work as a team not as individuals.
In How To Innovate And Create New Business Opportunities When You Are A Small Fish: Here Comes The VEN, Robin Good and Ken Thompson argue that when you are a small fish, it may appear pretty difficult, if not altogether out of your reach, to be able to “network up” with other small firms to provide higher value services to major clients. But is it a real physical limitation or is it just that small companies lack a proven and effective business collaboration model – The Virtual Enterprise Network (VEN)?
I have been checking out social network analysis (SNA) tools which allow social network data (directly input or imported from external systems) to be displayed, manipulated and analysed graphically in a number of ways. I was also looking for SNA tools which are free or have a free version. Here’s 4 tools which look very useful!
The Wisdom of Crowds and Collective Intelligence are very useful concepts but not if they are used in the wrong places. Confusing these two concepts will only produce bad results for your groups and teams.
The Delphi Technique is a proven way to harness collective group intelligence (popularly known as the wisdom of crowds) in a wide range of applications.
In Social Network Analysis: an introduction, Richard Cross, bioteams.com Guest Author, explains the importance of making organisations hidden social networks visible. In this follow-up article Richard discusses how Social Network Analysis (SNA) actually works in practice.