Collaborative Intelligence: Thinking with People Who Think Differently
Dawna Markova, Angie McArthur
A breakthrough book on the transformative power of collaborative thinking
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 a new professional currency at a time when the way we think, interact, and innovate is shifting. In the past, “market share” companies ruled by hierarchy and topdown leadership. Today, the new market leaders are “mind share” companies, where influence is more important than power, and success relies on collaboration and the ability to inspire.
Collaborative Intelligence is the culmination of more than 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 managers 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, the authors teach us how to recognize our own mind patterns and 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 intellectual diversity will lead their teams to innovation; employees who understand it will thrive because they are in touch with their strengths; and an entire team who understands it 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.
Praise for Collaborative Intelligence
“Rooted in the latest neuroscience on the nature of collaboration, Collaborative Intelligence celebrates the power of working and thinking together at the highest levels of business and politics, and in the smallest aspects of our everyday lives. Dawna Markova and Angie McArthur show us that our ability to collaborate is not only a measure of intelligence, but essential to solving the world’s problems and seeing the possibilities in ourselves and others.”—Arianna Huffington
“This inspiring book teaches you how to align your intention with the intention of others, and how, through shared strengths and talents, you have every right to expect greatness and set the highest goals and expectations.”—Deepak Chopra
“Everyone talks about collaboration today, but the rhetoric typically outweighs the reality. Collaborative Intelligence offers tangible tools for those serious about becoming ‘system leaders’ who can close the gap and make collaboration real.”—Peter M. Senge, author of The Fifth Discipline
“I have worked with Markova and McArthur for several years, focusing on achieving better results through intellectual diversity. Their approach has encouraged more candid debate and collaborative behavior within the team. The team, not individuals, becomes the hero.”—Al Carey, CEO, PepsiCo
which we must endure. Rachel ends the story with these words: “Sometimes someone dreams a dream for us all.” UNCOVERING YOUR THINKING TALENTS Our minds are partly defined by their intersections with other minds. —Daniel Siegel, M.D. One very cold December afternoon, the phone in my office rang. A man’s raspy voice asked if I was the woman who had written How Your Child IS Smart and The Open Mind. He introduced himself as Ned Herrmann, and within minutes we were engaged in a compelling
THINKING TALENTS Making Order “How can I align all these different variables?” Enjoys managing and aligning many variables into the best configuration. Jumps into confusion and devises new options; organizes what’s messy. ALWAYS SOMETIMES NEVER THINKING TALENTS Mentoring “What can help others grow?” Sees potential in others; every person is a work in progress; goal is to help others achieve success; searches for signs of growth in others. ALWAYS SOMETIMES NEVER THINKING TALENTS
challenge or breakdown with a person and want to move beyond it. • When you want to increase the chances that someone else will understand your ideas. Let’s start by looking at how to use thinking talents to strengthen your connection and increase your influence with someone else. Increasing your influence does not mean forcing other people to think the way you do. Being influenced does not mean having to agree with someone else. Rather, influence involves creating permeability in your
challenge. I suggested that each time he noticed his mind was closed like a fist, when he was certain he was right, that he ask himself if he would rather be right or effective. And if he decided that he’d rather be effective, then he would have to inquire of himself what was most important to him in that moment. This intentional inquiry would allow his clenched mind to open a bit. Then he needed to observe, like any good engineer, what effect he was having on those around him. I knew this very
encounter. It regulates the flow of information within and between us. It is fluid. We can all aim it, follow it, or shift it, but each of us does that in a different way. Attention, like water, has several different “forms” or states. It can be “focused,” or solid as a cube of ice. This is a state where you give your attention to only one thing and ignore the rest of what is going on around you. Attention can also be in a “sorting” or mediating state, shifting from inner awareness to outer and