Increase Creative Productivity by Sharpening Your Organization’s Collective IQ

The Connection Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has found ways to increases productivity by as much as 17% by improving flaws in the way new ideas flow through organizations. In a presentation for the 4As’ CreateTech, David Shrier, Managing Director of CSE, shares a handful of MIT-proven methods to boost the collective IQ of teams:

Balanced Voices

Groups dominated by one person have a lower collective IQ, in a balanced meeting, it’s higher. Meeting “Owners” need to mediate or assign a mediator to ensure everyone’s thoughts are being shared and heard. Great ideas come from a collaborative, iterative process.

Add Women

“Teams with women perform better than all men. On average, women tend to score higher than men on Emotional IQ, and that is far more predictive of productivity than the highest IQ in a group, or even IQ of total company.” According to David.

Face-to-Face and Unstructured

Since better group outcomes depend on close ties among co-workers, it pays to foster places where those face-to-face encounters can happen. “The water cooler works,” David says. “Structured meetings do not build trust.”

Swear off conference calls “Physical proximity is superior to any form of electronic communication.”

Be Transparent – Literally

Have open seating areas where colleagues can meet. If open seating is distracting for your organization, an alternative is glass walled offices. A mixed of both may work, too, where the open seating area is off in an area away from where others are working.

This mix of mediation, women, less formal and more transparent meeting areas, help develop trust that increases creativity and productivity.