Byron's Babbles

Group Intelligence

Posted in Coaching, Education, Educational Leadership, Leadership, Learning Organization by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on January 2, 2015

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/23e/12663085/files/2015/01/img_0632.jpg My first book read of 2015 has been a great one. I am reading Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success by Phil Jackson. During his storied career as head coach of the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, Phil Jackson won more championships than any coach in the history of professional sports. I have taken a great deal of notes during the reading of this book. One thing that has really jumped out at me though is the idea of what Jackson calls, “group intelligence.” Many also call this collective intelligence. When we form teams we commit to work together for a common goal.

“The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.” –Phil Jackson

Jackson stated: “Basketball is a sport that involves the subtle interweaving of players at full speed to the point where they are thinking and moving as one… a powerful group intelligence emerges that is greater than the coach’s ideas or those of any individual on the team.” Really, coach and leader are interchangeable terms in this quote. One thing I’ve learned is that the only way to lead any school or organization with great success and scale is to build a great team. No matter how smart, talented, driven, or passionate you are, your success as a leader depends on your ability to build and inspire a team. A successful leader is one who can inspire his or her team members to work better together toward a common vision and goals.

“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.” –Michael Jordan

What we know as an individual is actually a dynamic collection of a lifetime interactions and knowledge sharing with all those we have collaborated with. Collective intelligence strongly contributes to the shift of knowledge and power from the individual to the collective. In education we have been modeling this with professional learning communities and the way educators are learning to participate in knowledge cultures outside formal learning settings. To be successful we must continue to embrace and find ways to make a a culture of group intelligence common place.

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