Your company most certainly has an ecosystem of tools that allow you to collaborate and communicate. But do you have a collective intelligence tool? First of all, what is a collective intelligence tool, and how do you use it to stimulate collaborative engagement?
A collective intelligence tool to complement top-down tools
You most certainly have a top-down internal communication ecosystem. While it is true that these tools are accessible to everyone, few employees have the opportunity to animate it. In other words, to be actors in it. The use of these tools is essentially consultation: department managers publish, employees get information. Thus, the exchange is a one-way process. You therefore need cross-functional communication tools…
A collective intelligence tool is not a corporate social network
At this stage, you probably think you already have collaborative or bottom-up tools. For example, a corporate social network. Indeed, for a few years now, “internal Facebook” has been flourishing in our organizations. If, at first, these new tools were the trend, many testimonials have ended up concluding that corporate social networks have failed. Why is this? For two reasons. First, because the deployment of such tools is not sufficiently supported. And for good reason, since – 2nd reason – since the conversation is often presented there as an end in itself. In other words, employees are asked “Come on, share! “but they don’t know what they should share, nor for what purpose. In short, the conversation has no other meaning than itself. It’s not always easy to generate great employee engagement in these conditions!
Conversely, a collective intelligence tool naturally has a meaning: that of decompartmentalizing skills, talents and ideas, to enable employees to grow together. It therefore generates a strong employee commitment to the company thanks to a promise: if you participate in this culture of sharing, and if you get involved in the company, you will not only be valued, but you will also develop your skills, and you will be better at doing your job.
What should I expect from a collective intelligence tool?
To be complete, to give meaning and to stimulate employee commitment, a collective intelligence tool must integrate 4 dimensions:
- It must facilitate the sharing of skills. The decompartmentalization of skills and know-how is key to enable employees to be better at their jobs.
- It should encourage feedback and cross-functional communication. The feedback culture allows everyone to grow: both the giver and receiver of feedback. In addition, everyone should be able to ask questions, share difficulties and receive help from peers.
- It must allow new ideas to emerge. It would be a shame to circulate intelligence to get nothing out of it! As you will have understood, collective intelligence naturally leads to collaborative innovation.
- It must be accompanied by a method, and support in the transformation. Because collective intelligence is a matter of corporate culture. And transforming the culture (towards a more learning and innovative culture) requires method and support.