Developing CQ inside a team, department or organization is not as complex as it sounds. For a start Collaborative Intelligence is exactly like IQ or for that matter EQ (Emotional Intelligence), in that it was already there all the time. By naming it, as happened with EQ, we bring more attention to it and start to notice where there are examples of it and where it might be lacking.
The team you belong to already has CQ and exercises it on a regular basis – otherwise it wouldn’t be able to achieve anything as a group. The central question becomes ‘How can we further develop / deepen our Collaborative Intelligence?’.
Here are ten ways to further develop CQ in the workplace:
1. Raise awareness of the importance of shared assumptions. Assumptions cause us to run on ‘autopilot’. Individuals are not the only ones who operate this way; teams do it too.
2. Check your own assumptions before and during the project planning phase. Your own assumptions will effect how you interact with others and deal with the inevitable challenges of working with other people.
3. Intention is the keynote. Just as a team’s attention is important – so is your own. Intentions have an eerie way of manifesting into reality.
4. Encourage team members to find out about each others’ roles. The more they know about each others’ perspectives, the more likely they will empathize with them when the going gets tough.
5. Establish a reward system for innovation and creativity. Ensure that rewards are equally available for ideas and innovations that don’t work as for those that do.
6. Plan to use all of the experience in the team. Think of the years of life experience represented in a room of 15 people with an average age of 35. It represents over 500 years of life experience.
7. Celebrate your successes along the way. Celebration acts to reinforce the progress being made. When it done at the team level it empathizes the importance of the team process in reaching desired objectives.
8. Invest resources in your own learning and when possible encourage others to do the same. Continuous improvement is only possible when individuals and the team as a whole are embracing continuous change with continuous learning..
9. Real change only comes when people change how they behave as well as think. This is just as true for the workplace. Never was it truer that we need to be the change we wish to see.
10. Model what you want to see more of. Providing our colleagues and clients real-life demonstrations of collaboration at work is the strongest incentive and inspiration you can provide to others.
We can’t force people to change, if we do the change doesn’t last. We need to show our colleagues and yes even those to whom we report, that it is in their best interests to make a change. That is why # 10 in this list is so important. As Gandhi put it “Be the change you want to see”.