In a start-up small business environment, where employee numbers are small and offices can sometimes be close quarters, elite quality team building can be the difference between boom and bankruptcy.
So, what makes a really good team? What is the secret ingredient that turns a group of disparate and separate individuals into a harmonised and powerful workforce? This is a question that has been at the heart of some of the world’s biggest businesses – possibly most notably the largest one of all. Google, and its parent company – Alphabet.
On the back of a broad base of academic research from the MIT Human Dynamics Laboratory, and a lot of their own internal examinations, the concept of “Collective Intelligence” was born, otherwise known as “the C-Factor”. Using a vast array of data, Google and MIT found that the following factors were key to giving a group the highest possible C-Factor score, leading to the best possible team.
Take turns talking
To one extent or another, everyone likes to hear the sound of their own voice. However in a team
When not enough people feel as though they are involved, they are not incentivised to do their very best. This situation is not best engineered by rules or regulations on talk time, as that breeds resentment. Instead, it is organised by everyone in the group understanding the value of all the other participants. This kind of spirit will need to come first and foremost from the group leader, but only when it is put into practice can it truly make an impact.
Taking turns in talking is the first step, but if what is said tears down more than it builds up, it is a one-way ticket to acrimonious inactivity and a poor C-Factor score. People need to know that they themselves will not be torn down. Their ideas might not cut the mustard. Their suggestions may lack something.
But they themselves will not be undervalued or dismissed. Social sensitivity is key. Every person needs to be valued and positively regarded as part of the whole. The more this happens, the more willing people will be to share ideas.
The more sources of ideas you have, the more likely it will be that these will result in good outcomes. The researchers noticed that social sensitivity scores went up the more women there were in the team, making it clear that representation is valuable far beyond ideological reasons.
It seems like an obvious statement, the more engaged people are in the processes and the conversations, the better the outcomes and the higher the C-Factor will be. But how do you get your workers more energised and more engaged in the meetings and conversations between team members.
One way is to do your best to not overly structure the framework of the discussions. The more people feel that they are simply going through the motions when it comes to meetings, the more they will like there is nothing interesting or useful to do here. If a meeting feels like anything could happen, there is more space to collaborate, and more room for ideas to come together and do something useful.
Better bandwidth brainstorming
You might associate the term ‘bandwidth’ mostly with internet service provision, but in
For C-Factor questions, bandwidth issues revolve around questions like how much better a conversation held face to face is over a telephone call or text-based instant messenger. Face to face conversations are the gold standard, and the more of these a team has, the higher the C-Factor score can go. This is because the bandwidth is so very high, with not just the words and expressions, but also facial tones, body language, and all kinds of other analysis passed on in the meeting.
Good teams work together because they build something bigger than themselves. This is the kind of thing that is learned in professionally organised team building challenges. If you make sure your team takes turns in talking, is sensitive in a social sphere, engages with all subject manner energetically, and keeps their engagements in a high bandwidth setting, they will doubtless go very far indeed.