Why Collective Intelligence is Powerful

Alone we go faster, together we go further – African proverb

To understand why collective intelligence is so powerful, I would like to invite you to think about bees. I find bees fascinating insects.

They are hard-working insects. All day long, bees look for and carry nectar from flowers to their beehive to produce very useful products for us as well, like honey and royal jelly. To collect a liter of nectar, bees shall make 25,000 trips.

Nevertheless, if we consider only one bee alone, this insect would not be particularly interesting. It does what all other insects and animals do, including us. They look for food to ensure their survival.

We should consider a single bee as a member of their colony, because this is their greatest strength. If what a single bee achieves on its own is limited, the colony can achieve very great objectives, because bees can coordinate and work together towards a common goal.

There are a lot of people who are convinced that they will go much faster if they work alone. They think that others can even be obstacles to the development of their business.

Obviously, when you work on your own you go very fast. You make your own decisions, and you don’t need to discuss and agree on anything with some other people.

However, even the most talented person will never go as far as a team working together on a shared goal.

In a team, you find different skills, and different points of view, that will help you to make more informed decisions and therefore minimize the risk of making mistakes.

But maybe you are self-employed and don’t have a team to rely on for your work. Today there are plenty of opportunities for networking (co-working spaces, business conferences, are just some ideas) even if you are alone in your business, so that anyone can enjoy the benefits of collective intelligence.

What exactly are these benefits?

Here they are:

  • You will be more creativeCreativity is the ability to deviate from our usual thinking patterns to come up with innovative ideas or solutions to problems. By promoting exchanges with other people, you will create an environment favorable to sharing and confronting creative ideas.
  • You will develop your capacity for empathy – Empathy is an extraordinary skill because it is at the origin of solidarity among individuals. By developing your empathy, you will develop your ability to listen both actively and caringly. You will thus develop, within the group, a climate of mutual aid conducive to the progress of everybody.
  • You will learn to cooperate – Like bees do, you will pool up your skills with the other members of the group. Thus, you will empower the team that will operate in the interest of the project.
  • You will communicate better – Within a group, communication is essential. You should know how to exchange the right information at the right time, and for that, it is imperative to clarify things from the beginning to understand each other and avoid misunderstanding at a maximum. Good communication will make it possible to develop cohesion within the group. And the more a group is united, the more active the collective intelligence is.
  • You will develop your ability to build a collective reflection – Together, you will be able to create a climate conducive to the emergence of new ideas by creating working groups that will allow you to share your thoughts. This is a great way to stimulate the generation of relevant ideas and solutions.

As you can see, the tremendous power of collective intelligence is accessible to everyone, if you are open to others and want to build a caring community that encourages the sharing of ideas and skills.

The advantages of collective intelligence will let you not only go further on your project, but also help others achieve their goals.

What do you think about collective intelligence?

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19 thoughts on “Why Collective Intelligence is Powerful

  1. Animals and insects instinctively know what our modern society has rejected in favor of seeking to be the winner, the one in 1st place. In cultures where people still work cooperatively together, we tend to smile a little indulgently at them, and say, “how quaint”! Teamwork is less understood in the modern workplace, but more and more groups are starting to embrace this new/old idea.

  2. All that you set out may well applied when there is the shared goal which is the foundation for the piece. However, it is my personal experience, in resolving issues, both internally and with third parties, the ability to see a path no one else sees, until you start them down the path ends up the creating the shared goal no one else saw until I started asking questions. Honest questions.

  3. Excellent post and so true! When I worked in the corporate world it was always beneficial to have differing perspectives and experiences, especially when problem solving. Now I’m self employed I find my customers have become my collaborators and I continue to improve my skills through that collaboration. Every custom order I work on is an opportunity to learn from the person making the request. Thanks for your post.

  4. Great post!! I love the opening quote. I had it hanging on my office wall when I was a teacher. And I agree- bees are awesome! 🐝

  5. I really value the ability to have an in-person conversation when I hit a potential roadblock. Sometimes just the act of saying things out loud, which is often easier with others than by ourselves, helps me figure out the best pathway. Hence when we were allowed to back in the office after Covid forced us to work from home for a time, I moved back to working in the office as many days as I could. I feel I’m more productive there, and the distractions of conversation with colleagues feels like a much better use of time than distractions I find while working from home.

    With my music writing and book writing I often find I need to talk with others to see things from different perspectives to make my creations even better than I could on my own.

    Thank you for sharing and encouraging thinking on this. 😊

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