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The power of the collective: A single being, even brilliant, cannot be smarter than a group of individuals – Harvard Business Review France – 2/05/19

LE pouvoir du collectif, chronique de Paule Boffa-Comby dans Harvard Business Review France

Review by PAULE BOFFA-COMBY – HBR France – May 2, 2019

Because a single being, no matter how brilliant, can be smarter than a group.

LE pouvoir du collectif, chronique de Paule Boffa-Comby dans Harvard Business Review France

Several studies, in particular research by a team from Carnegie-Mellon and MIT, showed that a group’s IQ depended more on the quality of relationships and connections between its members only the height of individual IQs. This directly challenges a number of misconceptions underlying the criteria for selecting and promoting leaders in many large organizations.

The power of the collective and its ability to solve complex problems or crisis situations would thus depend on the trust and the links created between each one, on the fluidity and quality of the communication, the ability of all to learn from one another and interact with one another in a respectful and dialogue manner.

At a time when the complexity of the world and the challenges to be faced by companies – and their leaders – means reacting quickly and thus knowing how to combine the talents, ideas and forces at hand, However, we note that the collective struggles to earn its true nobility and to settle permanently in the modus vivendi of (large) organizations. This requires first of all passing some brakes.

Resist the discomfort of apparent loss of control

As stated by Jean-Dominique Senard, then president of Michelin’s management, in «Change method!» (Rethink & LEAD editions, December 2018) , managers and managers face an uncomfortable paradox: The more the world evolves and the more complex organizations become. Plus the volatility of everything around us (markets, the economic and political world in general) The greater the number, the more likely it is to centralize decisions and increase the controls that can be carried out across organizations in order to try to control what is going on. By doing so, we are going against the aspirations of people who work for the same goal, we are going against their desire for autonomy and accountability.”

From then on, knowing how to let everyone express their talent, their ideas and give the best of themselves for the success of the project requires a, read more on HBR France


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