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  • Writer's pictureFlorence CoDeveloppons

What is collective intelligence ?

Intelligence =

The ability to succeed in interactions with the surrounding world, more particularly in the face of challenges or change.


Collective intelligence =

The shared intelligence of a group, which emerges from collaboration and communication between individuals, in groups, and with other collective systems. 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 = ∞

As you might have noticed, Collective Intelligence goes far beyond...

It's the capacity of a community to bring together intelligence and knowledge to go further, towards a common goal. It also results from the quality of the interactions between its members.

And this is our role as coaches and facilitators: we create the framework and the conditions for Collective Intelligence to emerge.

By using Collective Intelligence tools: we often realize that the answers are not where we expected them ... They do not only depend on the leaders, the managers, or those who are 'in the know' ... The true answers lie in the pooled knowledge, thoughts, experiences and intuitions of each individual. Collective Intelligence puts the human and the individual at the center of everything: by giving each person their place and by revealing their value. It is also and consequently the best path to reach common decisions, co-created projects, co-opted initiatives ... which will have better chances of success by belonging to, and being truly embodied by each individual, carried and supported by the group.

Antoine de Saint Exupery said:

"When you want to build a boat, do not start by collecting wood, cutting boards and distributing work, but awaken among men a desire for the great and beautiful sea" By working with Collective Intelligence: we naturally deconstruct patterns and habits to reconstruct others. We talk about "generative collaboration": we start from the group, to create something new, different and beautiful!

One of our other favorite quotes comes from Harrison Owen, the creator of the Open Forums:

"It is in the dance between order and chaos that new things emerge" So expect to be surprised and unsettled, only to be liberated and creative.

Examples of Collective Intelligence processes used in our workshops: - Open Space technology / Open Forums - World Café - CoDevelopment - U theory - shared governance

And a few books to find out more:

- "The wisdom of crowds" James Surowiecki

- "Super Collectif, the new power of our intelligences" Emile Servan Schrieber

- "Source, a path to the origin of knowledge" Jaworski, Joseph

- “Generative Collaboration” Robert Dilts

- "The Collective Intelligence Toolbox" Beatrice Arnaud and Sylvie Caruso

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