Why collective Intelligence is more than swarm Intelligence

“Collective intelligence is not swarm intelligence.
Swarm intelligence is the interaction of simple individuals.
Collective intelligence is the combination of intelligent individuals.
Collective intelligence is culture.”

Within this post I would like to sum up the work of Prof. Dr. Peter Kruse and his team who developed innovative management tools that open new horizons in the development of strategies, definition of principal / important courses of action and the organisation of change processes. As I really like their work, I would like to present it to a wider public here.

The nextpractice principle stands for the combination of a modern interdisciplinary management approach with specially developed, innovative management tools. The nextpractice principle supports companies and institutions in structuring internal solutions. Based on Prof. Dr. Peter Kruse’s scientific observations, the psychologists and computer scientists in his Bremen-based methods and business consultancy company nextpractice have developed various computer-supported tools which uncompromisingly target the harnessing of intelligence within companies and institutions.

Understanding, Transparency and Involvement
Economy and society are in a state of change; technical and economic networking is on the rise. Markets are global. Complexity and dynamics are exploding. Readiness for change and employee knowledge and ability are vital sources of success. Without shared understanding of the challenges, without transparency of important information and without early involvement of those concerned, results will remain substantially below possibilities. nextpractice’s tools, repeatedly acclaimed for their added-value, open new horizons in the development of strategies, definition of principal / important courses of action and the organisation of change processes. Using customised interventions, nextpractice helps companies and institutions plot a safe course, to plot even in uncharted waters.

The nextpratice tools
Tools for Change: As a rule, expertise for solving pending tasks undoubtedly exists. Often only suitable methods of recovering this treasure are lacking. The nextpractice principle utilizes the entire available intelligence – easily, quickly and efficiently.

  • Impulse speeches convey motivating background-understanding for organising change, for internal communications and for successful marketing.
  • The Internet-based algorithm nextqualifier is capable of locating the really interesting experts for a topic, thereby securing access to vital core information.
  • The interview and analysis software nextexpertizer permits, in the shortest possible time, comparative analysis of even the most intuitive views and assessments of these experts.
  • The moderation tool nextmoderator interconnects almost any number of people to form an intelligent network for developing measures and recommendations.

Tool 1: nextmoderator
The nextmoderator is a computer-supported moderation method that applies the techniques and methods of small group moderation to larger groups, using a computer network (LAN). In this way, up to one thousand individuals can be connected by means of an online moderation network over which they can cooperatively elaborate issues in an anonymous stock exchange of ideas – from brainstorming to developing and assessing specific recommendations or measures. The modular programme permits the implementation of numerous current event designs.

Using network intelligence effectively: Using the moderation tool nextmoderator, groups of almost any size can collectively process issues in a dynamic stock exchange of ideas – from brainstorming to developing and assessing specific recommendations or measures. The tool’s modular structure permits the implementation of numerous current event designs.
Contrary to classic moderation, participants have constant access to the generated ideas and contents which considerably reduces duplication. In continuous alternation between generation and assessment, the process quickly and self-dynamically concentrates on relevant topics.

Stronger management and employee involvement in company processes through open exchange is targeted, thereby exploiting the entire intelligence of the system. Due to constant transparency and uncompromising involvement, the recommendations for action compiled with the aid of this method receive high participant acceptance – turning the affected into the actively involved.

Every entry is automatically documented during the event. The entire data is available on CD-ROM at the end and can be published immediately over the Internet or an intranet for purposes of information or further processing.

Benefits of nextmoderator:

  • networked processing with groups of any size
  • faster change-over between brainstorming and assessment
  • high-quality results in the shortest possible time
  • maximum transparency during the entire process
  • high result acceptance through involvement of all participants
  • change-over between plenum and group work without moving to other rooms
  • lucid display of results
  • documentation immediately available in digitalized form at the end
  • consistent format
  • easy to use

Tool 2: nextexpertizer
Computer-supported interview and analysis method: Markets and society are changing rapidly, complexity and change dynamics explode. In order to cope with the ensuing challenges, more and more managers recognize the need to strengthen the use of employee knowledge and abilities plus the benefit of everyone being involved. Generally speaking, the competence for solving tasks at hand undoubtedly exists.

People make decisions based predominantly on intuitive, often unconscious criteria. Anyone who wants to make use of these soft factors must first uncover them. To do this, nextpractice developed the computer-supported analysis tool nextexpertizer. The method combines the expressiveness of qualitative interviews with the comparability of quantitative questionnaires.

People make decisions based predominantly on intuitive, often unconscious criteria. Anyone who wants to make use of these soft factors must first uncover them. nextexpertizer quickly and efficiently reveals these primarily unconscious, but nonetheless powerful action-governing criteria.

  • nextexpertizer directly and unadulterately captures the intuitive expertise of the interviewees.
  • nextexpertizer uniquely combines the expressiveness of qualitative interviews with the comparability of quantitative questionnaires.
  • nextexpertizer reflects company culture by means of a contentually and visually convincing presentation of varied perceptions.

The cortex acts much like an advisory team, the real action-governing decisions are made in the limbic system. By using various methods, conscious as well as unconscious knowledge can be captured and assessed. nextexpertizer combines the expressiveness of qualitative interviews with the comparability of quantitative questionnaires.

Survey design
nextexpertizer captures people’s intuitive assessments in individual interviews and then subjects them to a recapitulatory analysis. nextexpertizer surveys are based on unrestricted interviews, which means the interviewees can express themselves openly, using their own words, on the subject of the survey.

nextexpertizer makes it possible to quantify these individual qualitative statements, making them comparable. As a result, interviews with up to 300 persons can be correlated and assessed. The context can be freely chosen , e.g. mergers, strategy development processes, management audits, group coaching.

Development phase:

  • Question definition
  • Comparison element development
  • Choice of interview partners (experts)

Execution phase:

  • Interview duration approx. 1,5 hours
  • Execution (interviewer, PC or Internet)
  • Instant feedback of results to the interviewed person

Assessment phase:

  • Group results from up to 300 experts
  • Initial results immediately, details after 3 days
  • Interactive presentation of results according to customer wish

Recommended readings:

A collective is more than a swarm… (Picture source: http://www.collaborationideas.com)

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