How Collective Intelligence is Changing the Way We Work

 As new technologies and productivity tools are integrated into our daily workflow, it’s inevitable that the way we work, at an organizational and interpersonal level, will change. New means of communication and collaboration will challenge convention in the workplace, leaving us to establish new ways of interacting and working.

 According to Jacob Morgan, cofounder and principal at Chess Media Group and author of the upcoming book The Future of Work, there are five major trends to look for—two of which are technology and new behaviors. Here’s how technology is already shaping new behaviors in the workplace and what it could mean going forward.

 Top down to bottom up

“The flow of how work gets done is shifting,” says Morgan. In the past, the way we work was dictated by executives; they told everyone what technologies to use, what time to show up, etc. “[Executives] would pass that information to managers and managers would pass it on to employees,” explains Morgan.

“Now we’re seeing the complete reversal,” says Morgan. “Employees are starting to guide and drive that conversation.” From when and where they work to which device they use and whom they work with—that information, in turn, is getting passed along to the managers and then executives. Morgan refers to this bottom-up approach to decision making as inverting the flow of how work gets done.

Collective Intelligence

Technology helps facilitate Collective Intelligence at a larger scale, making it efficient and effective.

According to Morgan, video game company Electronic Arts Inc. (also known as EA Games) does a great job of tapping into its Collective Intelligence. When it comes to making video games, traditionally, the manager says, “This is our release date for the game. Everybody, get to work.”  At EA, however, they decided to shift things around.

“They said [to employees] ‘Look, you’re the ones working on the project, making the games, and developing the marketing strategies—you tell us: When do you think this game is realistically going to come out?'” explains Morgan. As a result, the company has seen a dramatic increase in release date accuracy, which is helping the company to both save and make more money. 

A collaborative platform for communication

Within an organization, the rise of the Collective Intelligence can be attributed to technology. To share ideas and get feedback from many people you need a collaborative platform.  “You’re not going to email thousands of people and say, ‘Everyone, respond to this email thread.’ You’re not going to call everybody up. And you’re not going to have a giant town hall for everyone,” says Morgan.

According to Morgan, “That’s where collaborative technologies and platforms, like Yammer, come into play because they allow you to connect people to information—at scale—anytime, on any device.” Technology helps facilitate Collective Intelligence at a larger scale, making it efficient and effective.

The Collective Intelligence enabled by a collaborative platform isn’t the only technology-driven change that Morgan speaks to in his upcoming book. He also dives into trends such as mobility, millennials, and globalization and explores the impact each will have on the future of work. Check out this video (embedded below)  to learn more about these themes and look out for The Future of Work, coming out September 2, 2014!

 You can connect with Jacob directly on twitter, by visiting The Future Organization, or by emailing him directly,