Collaborative Intelligence: Thinking With People Who Think Differently

Collaborative Intelligence
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A breakthrough book on the transformative power of collaborative thinking.

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Collaborative intelligence, or “CQ,” is a measure of our ability to think with others on behalf of what matters to us all. It is emerging as the new professional currency at a time when the way we think, interact, and innovate is shifting. In the past, “Marketshare” companies ruled by hierarchy and top-down leadership. Today, the new market leaders are “Mindshare” companies, where influence is more important than power and success relies on collaboration and the ability to inspire.

Collaborative Intelligence is the culmination of over fifty years of original research that draws on Dawna Markova’s background in cognitive neuroscience and her most recent work, with Angie McArthur, as a “professional thinking partner” to some of the world’s top CEOs and creative professionals. Markova and McArthur are experts at getting brilliant yet difficult people to think together. They have been brought in to troubleshoot for Fortune 500 leaders in crisis and mangers struggling to inspire their teams.

When asked about their biggest challenges at work, Markova and McArthur’s clients all cite a common problem: other people. This response reflects the way we have been taught to focus on the gulfs between us rather than valuing our intellectual diversity—that is, the ways in which each of us is uniquely gifted; how we process information and frame questions; what kind of things deplete us, and what engages and inspires us. Through a series of practices and strategies, Markova and McArthur teach us how to recognize our own mind patterns and how to map the talents of our teams, with the goal of embarking, together, on an aligned course of action and influence.

In Markova and McArthur’s experience, managers who appreciate the intellectual diversity of their group will lead their teams to innovation; employees who understand it will thrive because they are in touch with their strengths; and when an entire team understands it they will come together to do their best work in a symphony of collaboration, their individual strengths working in harmony like an orchestra or a high performing sports team.