Teaching An Anthill To Fetch

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Teaching An Anthill To Fetch

  1. 2. Teaching An Anthill To Fetch Developing Collaborative Intelligence @ Work AUTHOR: Stephen James Joyce PUBLISHER: Mighty Small Books Publishing DATE OF PUBLICATION: 2007 NUMBER OF PAGES: 232 pages
  2. 3. <ul><li>Whether working with a small group of five people or a big organization of 100 or 1,000 people, one major challenge facing today’s leaders and business managers is how to get their team to deal with change in a fast-moving environment. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Teaching An Anthill To Fetch” by Stephen James Joyce provides a key concept and tool for this – collaborative intelligence or CQ. The book argues that in today’s world, IQ and EQ are no longer enough – we must also need CQ or the capacity to harness the intelligence and energy of people. This book teaches tools on how to attract and retain high quality employees, create meaningful participation and effective collaboration, instill a strong sense of purpose to teams, and balance leadership with “followship.” </li></ul>THE BIG IDEA
  3. 4. 1. Check Your Assumptions <ul><li>We need to embrace a new paradigm. We must see all living things as deeply connected – an idea called “entanglement” in quantum mechanics. If we do this, then it follows that there is a collective intelligence to which we all contribute and to which, potentially, we all have access. </li></ul><ul><li>One of our most persistent assumptions, for example, is that we can only succeed through being competitive. But if we look at nature at its most fundamental level, we will realize that natural systems are cooperative rather than competitive. Competition takes place within a larger context of a highly cooperative system. </li></ul><ul><li>This worldview requires that we look at ourselves and others in a new way. And how do we do this? We need to start by gaining the skill of Checking and Adjusting Our Individual and Team Assumptions. </li></ul><ul><li>We need to change our assumptions so that we can change our behavior. Assumptions are the building blocks for our beliefs, which drive our attitudes and behaviors. In some ways, our assumptions often drive our behavior when we go on auto-pilot. </li></ul>
  4. 5. 1. Check Your Assumptions <ul><li>What we assume about ourselves, life, and other people has a tremendous impact on how we operate as human beings. In other words, the assumptions we make about reality play a large part in creating that reality. Negative-thinking people, for example, who expect the worst, often are not disappointed. </li></ul><ul><li>But consider for example, if we start assuming that “we are all inherently resilient to change.” Making this assumption affects the attitude we take toward ourselves and others. </li></ul><ul><li>What are some of the assumptions that underpin the new worldview we must take? </li></ul><ul><li>Change is a constant process. </li></ul><ul><li>Our ability to adapt is the central role of resiliency. </li></ul><ul><li>Resiliency is our ability to adapt, bounce back, and recover in harsh or challenging situations. </li></ul><ul><li>Resiliency is an innate capacity that we all have. </li></ul>
  5. 6. 2. Adjusting Your Perception <ul><li>Perception is reality: this means that our perception affects our reality, and for the purpose of this, our perception of our individual and our team’s resilience affects this resilience. We see what we choose to see. </li></ul><ul><li>There are five important elements of resilience: attention, perception, filters, perspectives and frames. These make our perceptions relative and affect how we develop habits of seeing. Changing all these five elements can have a huge impact on our reality. </li></ul><ul><li>How do we change our attention or our focus? We do this by giving order to our thoughts. Team mission statements can serve this function; they help team members harness the collective attention around specific objectives, drawing people around a common purpose. </li></ul><ul><li>Perception, on the other hand, is how we feel about things, which impact on how we see things. If you become angry about something in the morning, for example, it may make you notice many other things during the day that also make you angry. </li></ul>
  6. 7. 2. Adjusting Your Perception <ul><li>Choosing how to look at things, then, or how to master our perception, gives us emotional mastery. If we look at problems in our organization as caused by one person, or one thing external to ourselves, it will be hard to resolve the problem. What we need to see is that we must change ourselves in order to change our organization, our world. </li></ul><ul><li>Adjusting our filters, on the other hand, allows us to set our intentions. Goal-setting is a good way to do this because it is like programming our minds to filter for things that are important to our goals. </li></ul><ul><li>Perspective is about where we look, or from what position we choose to view our world. We have at least three perspectives that we can use to view reality. The first position is the perspective of us looking through our own eyes. The second perception is being able to assume someone else’s perspective. The third position is not assuming being inside our own body or anyone else’s, or being a “fly in the wall.” </li></ul>
  7. 8. 2. Adjusting Your Perception <ul><li>People who explore all three perspectives of an event or situation are better informed than someone who only explores one. </li></ul><ul><li>In the end, learning how to choose to see something, or gaining mastery over our thoughts and perception, is how we gain perceptual flexibility. </li></ul>
  8. 9. 3. Gaining Self-Mastery <ul><li>Self-mastery begins with taking responsibility for where we are. We define our own reality by interpreting it and imbuing it with meaning. Self-mastery allows us to manage our emotions, set our intentions, be persistent, gain alignment, and develop good self-expression. </li></ul><ul><li>Emotional self-management is a central element of self-mastery. Mastery over emotions is a central element of highly-resilient people. This is because our emotions provide us with the power to act and are an important source of self-nurturance. Many successful athletes, for example, tell of how they manage to turn their fear into a source of energy, enabling them to achieve great accomplishments. </li></ul><ul><li>We also need to set our intentions, as this has a huge impact on setting outcomes we want to achieve. Properly formed intention enables the creation of a well-formed outcome. And in creating a well-formed outcome, we are able to notice and remember what is useful to our objectives. </li></ul>
  9. 10. 4. Communication <ul><li>The mechanistic view of organizations tells us that the lowest levels of the organization had the least knowledge and are in the worst position from which to make decisions. Managers at the top had the big picture, and can therefore make executive decisions. </li></ul><ul><li>But today, many are discovering the value and advantages of the bottom-up intelligence. This perspective takes the view that people at the frontline are in a better position to make decisions because they are closest to the changing environment. This is why the top-down approach is giving way to the horizontally-structured company. </li></ul><ul><li>This further emphasizes the role that communication plays in an organization’s success. Experts say that organizational problems can usually be traced to a team’s ability to think and talk together, particularly at critical times. </li></ul><ul><li>All personal and professional relationships are built on rapport. Rapport is defined as a relationship of mutual understanding or trust and agreement between people. Rapport is the basis of effective communication. </li></ul>
  10. 11. 4. Communication <ul><li>What do we need to learn to communicate effectively? </li></ul><ul><li>Rapport means meeting individuals in their map of the world, by being willing to enter their world and inviting them to visit yours. Asking questions about other people is the most powerful way to connect with others and build rapport, as well as in communicating with and influencing others. </li></ul><ul><li>Communication is both verbal and non-verbal, both conscious and non-conscious. Therefore, we need to be aware of our non-verbal communication and use it effectively to show regard and respect for other people. This includes ensuring attention-getting behaviors, such as listening carefully to what the other person is saying. Good listening skills entails that you quiet your mind while others talk, instead of thinking something intelligent to say next. This also means respecting others’ right to speak, and suspending judgment and allowing doubts or questions to be surfaced around a topic. </li></ul>
  11. 12. 4. Communication <ul><li>The meaning of the communication is the response we get. This means knowing that it is our responsibility to get our meaning across, and not to blame others if they misunderstand us. We need to change how we communicate. </li></ul><ul><li>There is no failure, only feedback. This means learning to see failure in communication and in other aspects as feedback for us to improve and be better. </li></ul><ul><li>Behavior is the highest quality information. People respond to our communication through their behavior, so it is important not to simply focus on their words of agreement or disagreement, but how people behave in response to our words. </li></ul><ul><li>If what you are doing isn’t working, do something different. If you are not getting your point across, change what you are doing so that you can get a different result. </li></ul>
  12. 13. 5. Connection <ul><li>Communication is impossible without connection. Connection makes communication possible. Communication, in turn, makes collaboration possible. Interdependence is a much more potent force than independence. Isolation tends to be dysfunctional while connection promotes healthy systems. </li></ul><ul><li>The systems approach teaches us to gain an understanding of the whole by examining the link and interactions between the elements that comprise the whole system. In this approach, relationships among people are the building blocks of everything. This emphasizes the importance of group dynamics at work, and the importance of building a sense of community in the workplace. </li></ul><ul><li>So how do we raise the CQ of teams? There are three approaches to do this: Appreciative Inquiry, Strength-based Approach, and Solution-Focused Thinking. </li></ul>
  13. 14. 5. Connection <ul><li>Appreciative Inquiry utilizes a four-stage process focusing on the following: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Discover – identifying organizational processes that work well </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dream – envisioning processes that would work well for the future </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Design – planning and prioritizing processes that would work well </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Deliver – implementing such processes </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The strength-based approach is identifying and building people’s strengths rather than focusing on their weaknesses. So we help people build upon something they already have competence and confidence in. </li></ul><ul><li>The solution-focused approach is about deciding what we want to have, and focusing our energies on getting it, rather than using our resources to get rid of what we do not want. </li></ul><ul><li>Whatever approach you choose, building connection and CQ within teams means allowing people to discover what values they share, and finding ways to honor those values. </li></ul>
  14. 15. 6. Creativity and Flexibility <ul><li>Creativity and flexibility are central factors of all successful and sustainable teams. In a fast-changing world, we need to continually come up with new and creative solutions to problems and challenges. We need to constantly reinvent ourselves. Creativity and flexibility make teams more resilient, effective and successful. </li></ul><ul><li>The role and responsibility of management, therefore, is how to stimulate, unleash, and harness people’s collective and individual creativity. All people are creative. How do we achieve creativity and flexibility? </li></ul><ul><li>Creativity is the ability to create new things and ideas. It is the capacity to learn, unlearn and relearn. Flexibility is not merely reacting fast to new information or change. “It arises from mental and emotional balance, the lack of attachment to specific outcomes, and putting care for self and others as a prime operating principle.” </li></ul>
  15. 16. 6. Creativity and Flexibility <ul><li>To tap into individual and collective creativity, you need to: </li></ul><ul><li>Provide an orientation toward the creative process. Provide opportunities for individuals and teams to be creative, whether it is learning new skills, going to an art/drawing/music class, or learning a second language. </li></ul><ul><li>Ask great questions. Challenge your team by asking questions and requiring them to experiment with solutions </li></ul><ul><li>Employ specific techniques/processes. There are many books and information available on specific techniques to employ for creativity. Read about them and use them. </li></ul><ul><li>Use humor. All humor is based on some form of creativity because humor involves changing perspective, which is an integral part of the creative process. </li></ul>
  16. 17. 7. Meaningful Participation <ul><li>The essence of meaningful participation is making a difference. Collaborative intelligence involves meaningful participation. Companies that champion meaningful participation will attract employees best equipped to take the company into the future. </li></ul><ul><li>Meaningful participation means people have a voice in the group, speak out about their ideas and opinions, freely express their authentic selves, contribute significantly to group outcomes, and participate according to their values and that of the team. </li></ul><ul><li>To stimulate meaningful participation, we must make the individuals in our team or organization feel that their work is important and meaningful, that it is a contribution to achieving a higher purpose, one that they consider as worthy. </li></ul><ul><li>Thus, leaders and managers need to provide the answer to the question, “Why?” for teams in doing their work. Being personally authentic is an important part of discovering meaningful participation at work. </li></ul>
  17. 18. <ul><li>So what does a High CQ Team look like? It can look quite boring, because there are very few dramas, and no exciting heroes the team relies on to save the day. High CQ teams expect challenge and meet it with one eye on the results, and the other on what can be learned from each challenge. </li></ul><ul><li>A high CQ team </li></ul><ul><li>is able to share the stress and strain evenly throughout the team </li></ul><ul><li>has a strong network of connection and support between its members. This accelerates learning, enabling the team’s reactions to be rapid and responsive to the challenges the team encounters </li></ul><ul><li>looks after its own; individuals are not left to fend for themselves and staff retention is high because people feel a strong sense of belonging </li></ul>8. Building High CQ Teams
  18. 19. <ul><li>is well connected to other teams and with corporate objectives. It knows what its function is and serves the greater good through good and bad times </li></ul><ul><li>achieves its objectives more through people and less through politics </li></ul><ul><li>replenishes itself, growing its members, and is constantly learning to better adapt to its environment </li></ul><ul><li>displays a strong sense of meaningful participation, which the members are all nourished by </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>8. Building High CQ Teams
  19. 20. BusinessSummaries.com is a business book Summaries service. Every week, it sends out to subscribers a 9- to 12-page summary of a best-selling business book chosen from among the hundreds of books printed out in the United States. For more information, please go to http://www.bizsum.com. ABOUT BUSINESSSUMMARIES

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