Collective Thinking

When assigning diverse individuals to a team, you may find that conflicts arise due to the different opinions, desires or goals brought to the workplace. However, differing opinions expand discussion, and enhance critical thinking. Managers should establish team norms from the beginning. In fact, open discussion about how group members are expected to share their opinions freely and how they are expected to judge ideas and not people may help prevent arguments.

The bottom line is that arranging the smartest individuals in dynamic working teams might not help. It is easier to raise the collective intelligence of a group than the IQ of an individual. The intelligence and knowledge of a team depends on group membership. Teams that function well create an environment for consistent collaboration.

So, create a “collective intelligent” team and you may see the rewards of your work with amazing collaborative results.

Work Cited:

The Project Management Hut (n.d.). Retrieved December 10, 2010, from

Woolley, A.W., Chabris, C.F., Pentland, A., Hashmi, N., & Malone, T.W. (2010). “Evidence for the collective intelligence factor in the performance of human groups.” Science 330 (6004), 686-688.

Tatiana Chalkidou is currently a doctoral student at Oklahoma State University. She holds an M.B.A. from the University of Leicester as well as a B.S. from the University of Athens in Greece. She has worked for the Athens 2004 Organization Committee during the 2004 Olympics. She can be reached via e-mail at

Michael Bradley is a doctoral student at Oklahoma State University studying various human dimensions of natural-resource management and participant-ethics related to outdoor activities.

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