Team management: how to develop collective intelligence?
Team WorkTalent Management

Team management: how to develop collective intelligence?

PerformanSe|2 min read|6 February

By viewing performance through the prism of results alone, we forget the importance of processes. Yet performance is achieved through activities “in the making”. QED: PerformanSe firmly believes that collective intelligence can be developed only within a team in a real work situation; not in a training room!

The results-oriented culture permeated managerial practices for a long time. “However, whether they realise it or not, companies are in the process of redefining the terms and conditions of their performance”, observes Arnaud Trenvouez, R&D programmes manager at PerformanSe.

Strictly productive criteria are no longer the only ones taken into account: performance indicators such as employee wellbeing, turnover, speed and quality are also scrutinised by managers. At first glance, these indicators are non-financial. However, they cannot be ignored because they have a substantial impact on a company’s financial performance.

Effective processes are based on collective intelligence

A team’s overall performance is never equal to the sum of individual results; it depends above all on the ability of individual team members to work together, coordinate their activities, communicate, etc. In other words, performance is above all a matter of soft skills. “Scientific studies show that performance is achieved through the process of producing results. So, we are focusing on processes as a means of developing collective intelligence, since they both foster and underpin performance,” explains Arnaud Trenvouez. The first step is to identify and analyse the processes at work within the team: in terms of organising work, sharing knowledge and making decisions. Behavioural tests are used to determine the state of play.

Training in real-life situations

Once a clear picture has been established, what can be done to optimise the processes at work within a team? “Training is never delivered in a real-life setting, which is a problem. To develop collective intelligence, training must take place during production time. Indeed, integrating training into normal working activities enables the development of new skills, which in turn foster the emergence of collective intelligence,” observes Arnaud Trenvouez.

PerformanSe is exploring innovative ways of influencing interactions and thus developing collective skills, for example, cross training and disruption training. While a team is working (problem-solving, brainstorming, etc.), we may impose a “disruption rule” whereby it must take a 10-minute break before resuming its normal activity. An example of a rule: “once a team member has spoken, he or she may not speak again until all other members of the team have had their say”.

To develop collective intelligence, training must take place during production time.

The goal: to develop “emerging states”

These new types of training activities, guided by a consultant, create unprecedented interference within the team. They disrupt the usual coordination processes to encourage the development of new ones and the redefinition of interpersonal interaction modes. The objective: to bring about transient states within the team, such as a surge of shared enthusiasm, a sense of cohesion, or even a kind of psychological security so that employees feel comfortable enough to voice their opinions and ideas. In other words, incorporating team training into actual work situations creates new “work environments” that are more efficient in terms of processes... and therefore results!

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