This is part four in a series of posts about collective intelligence. As I wrote before, building lucrative collective intelligence requires tweaking the mixture of talent to achieve the artful goals of success and profitability. According to conceptual theories developed by the Sloan School of Management at MIT, wisely deploying collective intelligence involves answering four base questions: what is being done; who is doing it; why are people doing it; and, how are people doing it.
The MIT Sloan School of Management paper “Mapping the Genome of Collective Intelligence” divides impetus for participating in collective intelligence into three categories: money, love or glory. The traditional default belief is that people join and contribute to firms based on potential salary and career advances. However, as I discussed earlier in posts, employees entering the workplace today desire incentives beyond money to maintain interest. A McKinsey Quarterly’s survey of 1,047 executives, managers and employees across a range of sectors found that financial incentives such as bonuses, raises and stocks were high motivators for only 35%-60% of employees, depending on the type of incentive. Personal non-financial incentives such as commendations from managers, attention from leaders and opportunities for project leadership produced an effectiveness rate between 62%-67%.
Aside from money, two great motivators are love and glory. The Sloan paper cites the examples of Amazon book reviews. These are the non-paid reviews that people submit for publication alongside the book description. Amazon receives free reviews, thus bolstering their sales, and the reviewer has his/her name out there. It is back-door advertising for the reviewer’s own ability. Likewise, a developer of a Linux program will have “bragging rights” over other programmers. Most non-profits count on employees’ love of mission as the motivational tool which balances out the lower salaries that non-profit work brings.
When embarking on collective intelligence projects, managers should consider how mix the rewards of money, glory and love to achieve success. This seems to be an all-too-obvious statement. However, according to Oliver Zara, author of “Managing Collective Intelligence” and co-founder of Synergy4 Council, our commitment to the belief that money is the main motivator is based on previous generations’ ideas and is hard to change. He states that sanctions and rewards help create coherence within an organization but don’t necessarily enhance cooperation.
Love and glory, on the other hand, can be leveraged to create the values that collective intelligence is based upon. Love of the mission encourages people to share information, experience and skills because they share the common bond of love of mission with their colleagues. In the same sense, glory encourages sharing because a person can be recognized for the unique skills he or she bring to the organization. Love and glory also form the basis for respect of the solutions offered through collective intelligence enterprises.
Recognizing love and glory as instigators for collective intelligence and collaborative work will help you develop the collective intelligence chemistry for profitable cooperation in your goals.