L’Etat? c’est Moi!
This example -– “The State? I’m the State,” uttered by Louis XIV –- could be used when discussing the IQ of organizations. And the IQ of the state (organization) is not what I mean. What I do mean is that the state or — let’s focus on a company — behaves (like) a human (organism), until proven otherwise. An organism functions in a way where all the different parts should cooperate in some way or the other. You wouldn’t like to work for a company in which the left arm fights against the right arm instead where both are used to please the same customer (but in different moments in time). “Can we help you?”
The IQ of an organization could represent the way in which an organization is successful in processing information and taking (the right) decisions. An organization should learn … up to a certain level. Like a normal human being with an IQ, there is a ceiling for everything. But learning is key and knowledge management is the process in which this is done.
One example of The Fifth Discipline from Peter Senge that is often quoted is the anomaly in which a team of intelligent managers with individual IQ’s of about 120 constitute a team with a collective IQ of half this figure.
We all know that ten economists are able to deliver a dozen or what visions on the same economy. One business team may consist of various specialists that will –- if you would ask them -– know more than a dozen visions and solutions on a apparent single matter. Maybe the first step is to recognize that an organization should be more than a team of individuals with their own goals and their own directions.
What would prevent that all those different expert opinions interfere with each other rather than that they amplify each other? This is very unlikely to do with individual IQ’s. To raise the overall Q of your organization, you don’t have to be afraid of those IQ’s. Attention is required however for the EQ part.
Or if you don’t want to think about this one, just use the following directive;
“I don’t know (and don’t care) how you are going to solve this one, but when this meeting is over, you present me the solution accepted by all.”
© 2006 Hans Bool
Hans Bool is the founder of Astor White a traditional management consulting company that offers online management advice. Astor Online solves issues in hours what normally would take days.
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