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Collective intelligence, what is it?

July 18, 2018

Newsletter July 2018

In a world that is constantly evolving at high speed, with the development of new technologies and digital, the company must be flexible in dealing with the different situations that it does not even imagine today. In this month of July, we are dealing with the subject of collective intelligence.

The 2.0 company challenges the traditional model that promotes individualism and information retention. Today this has changed with the emergence of the Internet and tools such as social networks or any other platform, allowing collaboration between individuals. To do so, it adopts various development strategies, notably by promoting a community-based organisation (or 2.0). Indeed, this new mode of management, sublime the overall performance of the company because it induces a climate of work healthy and favorable to the speeches while drawing all the benefits of the diversity that composes the group.

What is collective intelligence?

Most authors agree on the following definition: "collective intelligence is different from the sum of the individual intelligences that make up it". (Rallabhandi, 1996)
For Lévy (1997), collective intelligence refers to intelligence carried out at different collective levels of the Organization, if not in the entire organization; So it's not the sum of the individual intelligences. Collective intelligence refers to the cognitive abilities of the community, resulting from multiple interactions among its members. The collective intelligence is therefore the intelligence of the working teams. Source Tissot Edition)

Collective intelligence in a human society comes from complex interactions that meet various conditions:

  • A community of interest
    – A FREE membership: A membership based on common goals and mutual trust among the members;
    – A horizontal structure: the same rules (tacit or explicit) for all members and a dynamic organization. Indeed, the division of roles is based on volunteerism and complementarity of skills;
    – Collective management: the autonomy of members where each is responsible for its own action and strategic decisions based on voting or consensus.
  • A collaborative space
    – Cooperation tools: a communication network enabling interaction between all members;
    – A learning process: a system of regulation, the creation of a corpus of common knowledge and the sharing of practices that allow the emergence of a common consciousness.

At a time of digital savings, social networks and the emergence of a growing virality in the sharing of information, knowledge and practices, the new modes of communication allow individuals to build a new data in Wealth creation. This wealth now passes through the development and sharing of knowledge, cooperation and the ability to decompartmentalize the modes of operation to inspire greater transversality and a collective commitment of the teams.

How to develop collective intelligence?

  • Freedom of action and autonomy: the collaborators of a group need to feel opportunities for action, to perceive certain margins of manoeuvre that empower them to interact effectively with each other through practices Managerial facilitators: Delegation and management of situation which consists of adapting its management according to the autonomy, the experience and the expertise of each.
  • Trust and commitment: In order for an individual to want to share his or her individual intelligence in order to put it in the service of a group intelligence, the latter must feel confident. He must feel that the sharing of his knowledge, his practices and information he holds is more beneficial and advantageous than he will generate constraints or sanctions (horizontal confidence in relation to his peers and vertical in relation to his hierarchy). His level of commitment is directly related to his level of trust. This is why the company needs to look at the factors that promote or engage its employees.
  • An object of concrete application: In order for the collaborative intelligence to develop, the company must engage in collective and transverse projects, based on participatory approaches so that its teams take part in the implementation of Changes in the organization. Like the muscle, the collaborative intelligence works without which it weakens in time.

"Communities become multidimensional, that is, they have both real and numerical existence." Antonio Casilli, French sociologist specialist in social networks

And at Isahit, how does that apply?

Created in 2016, the community of Isahit continues to grow. It now brings together more than 300 people, mostly women from francophone Africa, who work on the digital platform and exchange via private newsgroups on Facebook.

Our digital task platform requires basic computer skills such as browsing the Internet and using a computer for example. Instructions per project are provided to help our community achieve the digital tasks available on our platform. When members of our community want to succeed, they can count on not only the help of the Isahit team to guide them but also the other Members who have a better understanding or more extensive knowledge in private groups Facebook, for example. We also organize online workshops/trainings that involve each participant on a pre-determined subject to make them accountable and mobilize them. Moreover, thanks to the suggestions of the members of our community, we evolve our platform as we go along in order to make it efficient and effective on all levels: technically and humanely.
We are convinced that the collaborative intelligence resulting from the pooling of the individual intelligences of the community is a source of wealth that can certainly increase the performance and commitment of each collaborator.

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