Group Think = Smarter Think

Yes, well, only if you play well with others and, umm…have women in your group.

In a study that was co-authored by Carnegie Mellon, MIT, and Union College and is published in Science,  researchers found that the intelligence of an individual has very little bearing on the intelligence of the group he/she is in.  What made the group in the study more intelligent was the way the group interacted and how well it could “distribute turn-taking, how socially sensitive the group members were, and how many woman were on each team [they suspect it’s because women exhibit higher social sensitivity and can read social cues better than men].”

This doesn’t read like a politically correct statement, and I doubt that this study (which included 699 participants) will result in managers strategically placing women in more brainstorming groups for obvious gender bias reasons. However,  this does make one wonder if managers will use this study to think of better ways to facilitate brainstorming sessions to fully optimize knowledge building. Will they supplement these sessions with wikis, content management systems, etc? Who knows.

One thing’s certain; group think kicks way more ass than what one person may come up with. I think Wikipedia has proven that much. Just so long as you’re getting ideas from different viewpoints rather than hearing echoes from your your chamber of comfort, you’re doing the right thing.

Play nice. You might just get a gold sticker.


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