Menu Close

Collaborative Intelligence

Hackman, Richard J. Collaborative Intelligence: Using Teams to Solve Hard Problems. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc., 2011.

A team is akin to an audio amplifier: whatever comes in, be it Mozart or ear-grating static, comes out louder.

To perform well, any team must include members who have the knowledge and skill that the task requires; it must recognize which members have which capabilities; and it must properly weight members’ inputs–avoiding the trap of being more influenced by those who have high status or who are highly vocal than by those who actually know what they are talking about.

The benefits of teamwork come only when capable people work together interdependently to achieve some collective purpose.

Face-to-face teams are indicated when creating a high-quality product requires coordinated contributions in real time from a diversity of members who have complementary expertise, experience, and perspectives.

We have seen that the five common types of teams discussed–surgical, coacting, face-to-face, distributed, and sand dune–are appropriate in some task and organizational circumstances, but not in others.

The social processes the team uses in carrying out the work enhance members’ capability to work together interdependently in the future.

An effective team is a more capable performing unit when it has finished a piece of work than it was when the work began. …