investigated the possibility of a collective intelligence factor: a latent factor describing a team’s general ability to perform on a wide variety of tasks.They brought teams into the laboratory, had them perform a wide variety of tasks [6, 9], and found that a team’s performance on one type of task was closely related to its performance on all types.
One obstacle is that members may not realize they have information worth sharing.
For example, research on “the common knowledge effect” highlights the tendency for team members to focus on knowledge that is already commonly shared among group members.
A common thread in this work is the idea that these group structures and processes associated with collective intelligence are enhancing the quality of information sharing in the team .
The speculation is that members who pick up on a wider variety of subtle cues, and teams that operate in a manner that incorporates multiple perspectives, will operate with more and better information than they would otherwise.
Teams offer the potential to achieve more than any person could achieve working alone; yet, particularly in teams that span professional boundaries, it is critical to capitalize on the variety of knowledge, skills, and abilities available.
This article reviews research from the field of organizational behavior to shed light on what makes for a collectively intelligent team.
Teams offer the promise to improve clinical care because they can aggregate, modify, combine, and apply a greater amount and variety of knowledge in order to make decisions, solve problems, generate ideas, and execute tasks more effectively and efficiently than any individual working alone .
Given this potential, a multidisciplinary team of health care professionals could ideally work together to determine diagnoses, develop care plans, conduct procedures, provide appropriate follow up, and generally provide quality care for patients.
In doing so, we highlight the importance of moving beyond simply including smart people on a team to thinking about how those people can effectively coordinate and collaborate.
In particular, we review the importance of two communication processes: ensuring that team members with relevant knowledge (1) speak up when one’s expertise can be helpful and (2) influence the team’s work so that the team does its collective best for the patient.