Collective intelligence is defined as the shared intelligence of a group, which emerges from collaboration and communication between individuals in groups and with other collective systems.
Paris, October 2018.
I am about to attend the seminar dedicated to collective intelligence organized by Robert Dilts. I let myself be convinced – easily that being said – by a colleague, without knowing what to expect.
Robert Dilts is a – if not THE – guru of collective intelligence and NLP.
If I had known what this stay would bring me …
At the end of this three-day seminar, I felt a strong desire to test the methods of collective intelligence “for real”. I do not know what motivates me, an intuition may be. I am in the unknown, I do not know what to expect or how to do. But I decide to follow this intuition, and founded the “Cosmic Mastermind”: “cosmic” because if one opens to the serendipity, wonderful things happen, and it’s just … cosmic, punchy, overwhelming. And Mastermind because the mastermind is one way to apply the methods of collective intelligence.
What is Mastermind?
In a nutshell, a Mastermind group is an
innovative form of collective intelligence whose goal is to help participants bring their project to a high level of success and innovation.
This project can be a life project, an ambitious professional project, the development of a company. The Mastermind is the accelerator of a successful entrepreneur.
Several definitions exist, all complementary to each other according to the lived experience. I would define the Mastermind as a
group of people with entrepreneurial spirit in search of excellence and rapid development of their business and themselves, guided by a facilitator in collective intelligence.
I would add that the Mastermind group brings together people who are committed, motivated and driven by a deep desire to share the best of themselves – experience, knowledge and know-how; and eager to contribute to the success of others, and to find innovative solutions for their own project. And I would conclude that participants should be guided by a common intention and defined by the group itself (“Shared Intend”)
I gather around me few fellow Independent Professionals, which embark themselves other collaegues in the project. And here we go for … well for we do not know what!
The Cosmic Mastermind is launched. We are seven: six independent professionals, and a senior executive. Some members know each other, others do not. And the adventure begins.
If we had known …
If we had known that from the initial group of 7, we would end up at 4 who would form a strong, benevolent group, united by common values and energies …
If we had known that for this group to be formed, others had to leave us …
If we had known that we were going to live an incomparable life experience, which will upset our private and professional lives.
If we had known that we would discover what “collective intelligence” means, and the driving force of the group effect …
Well, if we had known all this, we would certainly have started much sooner!
This unique experience is only possible if certain principles are applied. Here are some of the lessons we learned during the ups and downs of our adventure.
It is necessary, even imperative, that the mastermind group facilitator formalize the commitment of each participant, in the form of a contract, a real contract, with a written agreement. This formalization is necessary to raise awareness of the commitment required for both personal success and group success. Each participant must formalize this commitment through his actions and behavior. Only one participant shows a lighter level of commitment, and the whole group suffers.
This commitment requires discipline in terms of: freeing the agenda to participate in the sessions; discipline during sessions and respect of speaking time; taking responsibility for the actions taken. This commitment leads to respect for everyone, and it is an important value to establish in the group.
A regular schedule of sessions is necessary to help participants get into action, to overcome the vagaries of what can shake up our private and professional lives. Without this pace, we allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by the small and great upheavals of everyday life; we are falling behind in our actions, and that generates frustration. The Cosmic Mastermind group experienced these moments of frustration, where we did not see ourselves advancing, and it was the awareness of the group’s driving force that made us realize the need to see each other more frequently. We therefore organized more frequent Mastermind sessions, and we combined them with “outside” meetings, fun around a good meal, or working with collaborations that emerged during Mastermind sessions.
A pace of one session every two weeks allowed us to create the links necessary to build a relationship of trust. And this relationship of trust is the sine qua non for the emergence of collective intelligence.
The goal of a Mastermind is to put participants into action on their project. It is imperative that each project translate into concrete actions. It is equally imperative for the facilitator to ensure the implementation of resource actions, ie actions that a member will concretely take to help another member’s project. Without the concretization in actions, the group turns idle, seeks itself. The action, and the support of the group in the action, allows the participant to go forward, to experiment what works or not in his project, to challenge himself, to question himself, to acquire other modes Operating.
At the beginning of our group experience, the activation was held back by some participants, who did not see any point in it. The dynamics of the group suffered greatly for a few months, until the participants in question felt “an incompatibility”. What was strange was that this incompatibility was not really verbalized, not really explained; it had more to do with feelings, “sensing”. Once these participants left the group, the cohesion between the remaining members was almost immediate. I often represent this pivotal moment as drops of mercury which suddenly gathers under an impulse. This impulse, we call it resonance in collective intelligence. Resonance is the first stage of maturity to be achieved in a Mastermind group and in any collective intelligence experience: it is defined as the degree of alignment or connection experienced by some members with respect to ideas, values and qualities of other members. We have experienced resonance, and it is a prodigious experience!
Our experience of collective intelligence through the group Cosmic Mastermind has allowed us to discover the strength of the group, both in its support to each member, but also in the emergence of new ideas that allow participants to consider their project from an unexpected angle. It is also a place where judgment is absent while benevolence expresses itself in various forms at every moment