Collective intelligence and mass collaboration have to be learned at school

I often say that our teatchers and parents didn’t help us to be fully efficient in our professionnal carreer.  Just have a look at all those principles we grew up with :

You musn’t copy : copying is not bad. it prevent you from reinventing the wheel everyday. It’s better to take a colleague’s idea and spend our time to improve it rather that spending the same amount of time just to get to same result. Cheating is bad, not copying.

You have to succeed alone : make you homework alone, don’t share your information…. we can see the result everyday in our companies.

You mustn’t help others : as work is individual, evaluation is individual too….if you help your friends they won’t have the marks the deserve but the marks you both deserve. Another collaboration killer

You musn’t talk to the unknown : not easy to build networks and stimulate tacit interaction this way…

You musn’t talk about you : and how do you want the others to help me, to collaborate with me if they don’t  know me, what I can do for them, and what they can do for me ?

You have to think twice before saying anything : (in fact in France we say seven times)…auto-sensorship is be best way to kill innovation and improvement.

I don’t know is the cultural context is the same overseas but that’s what we experience in France.

Sometimes you found things that make you believe in better tomorrows : this post[fr] about how “Lille Business School” is improving its library, following those goals :making it become 2.0 by improving conviviality, sharing, distant access and simplicity. They integrated the Aquabrowser engine, chats, forums, rss feeds…in order to provide a better access to information and to stimulate exchanges.

Moreover they reinvented the librarian’s job.

 “Another new “big” thing : communities. People from the Library are not librarian anymore, but “community leaders”. A natural evolution since they’ve been specialized on one or several topics for years. They will propose, on the library intranet site, to students and searchers to take part in thematic communities. The purpose is to favor exchanges between different kinds of audiences and favor “collective intelligence”. Of course, the communities will be leaded by the librarians who will propose, in each community, ressources, specific intelligence, methodologies, websites, maps etc. “

The good news is that, after I published this note on my french blog, they contacted me to visit them and see how things are going. Sure I will !

PS : In the orignal post I also mentionned that I’d be glad to explain to our education minister how such things are key for french enterprises’ competitiveness, and why the Lille Business School example has to be followed not only in grad schools but also in shools, colleges etc… Unfortunately it seems that I have more readers in business schools than in ministeries.

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Head of People and Business Delivery @Emakina / Former consulting director / Crossroads of people, business and technology / Speaker / Compulsive traveler
Head of People and Business Delivery @Emakina / Former consulting director / Crossroads of people, business and technology / Speaker / Compulsive traveler

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