I have advocated that technology and other key drivers have created an environment in which individual teams can be networked with, not only other teams, but useful individuals such as specialists, consultants, experts, researchers, etc. I call this model the Networked Collaborative.
The essence of the Networked Collaborative is that the “who” of potential members and collaborators is increased exponentially because of individual members networking through collaborative technology platforms, the “what.” People working together, collaborating, sharing, creating, problem solving, etc., while sharing physical space, virtual space, or both simultaneously.
The Networked Collaborative makes use of what network researchers call a “small world network.” Keith Sawyer, author of Group Genius, explains that small world networks consist of,“…many densely connected small groups with less strong connections.”
Brian Uzzi of Northwestern University and Jarrett Spiro of Stanford University studied the 20the century Broadway musical industry, an industry in which many teams of people created projects, and then moved on to new projects, but maintained varying levels of interconnectedness. The Broadway musical industry was a network. From their research the derive a single number, which they called “Q.” Q is a measure of how densely interconnected the entire community is.
As Keith Sawyer points out, “When Q is low, there aren’t many links among teams, and those links aren’t very strong. When Q is high, the teams are connected by more and more people who know people on the other teams. If Q is very high, then teams are connected by many members and everyone has worked with everyone else multiple times.”
The Networked Collaborative attempts to harness they power of Q by creating connections with many more people than the team members sitting at the table. As these connections increase and are frequently re-visited, the level of Q increases.
Connections are the key. More connections increase the surface area of a typical team and exposes them to many more people who can contribute in meaningful ways to the work of the team.
“Connections expose a team to new sources of creative material. But if the network is totally connected, there is less diversity of ideas and the web risks falling into a rut of conventional styles. Recall the research showing that brainstorming groups often fall into groupthink and become less innovative than solitary workers. The most creative web is the one in which good connections exist among the teams, but the teams still enjoy independence and autonomy.”
The Networked Collaborative leverages the INDIVIDUAL networks of each member. No two networks look the same; therefore the Networked Collaborative is leveraging multiple unique networks. This uniqueness helps to offset the problem of groupthink.
Want to raise the IQ of your church teams collaboration, then create your own Networked Collaborative and harness the power of Q.
More Q equals more IQ.