Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0136 | January 20, 2004 | 8,000 Subscribers...

Dear friends,

I'm always interested in group strategies, models, and perspectives that might influence not only the work we do facilitating small groups, but also the larger social and cultural issues of our time. This week's article, "Using Co-Intelligence to Align the Energy of Groups,"
was inspired by information I gleaned from the Co-Intelligence Institute. This article explores a larger view of our individual and collective capacities and their importance to our survival. Read about the five dimensions of Co-Intelligence:
multi-modal, collaborative, wisdom, collective, and universal intelligence, and how we might use them to optimize our individual and group energies.

Have a great week!

Steve Davis
Publisher

FacilitatorU News


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Group Management Skill
Using Co-intelligence to Align the Energy of Groups
Awaken your groups to a larger view of their individual and collective capacities.
The Point


I often marvel at the vast intelligence, energy, and resources we collectively squander by undermining each other's efforts. We see this happening everywhere--in business, politics, government, education, etc. One group springs up simply to oppose the goals and ideas of another. I often wonder what would happen if we could better align our efforts, focusing them coherently on the problems we all say we want to solve...much like a laser renders disparate light frequencies coherent enabling them to burn through steel. What would this take and how would be do it?

Tension is a force of nature that often inspires evolution and the creation of more complex systems. So perhaps sometimes some groups are better off being at odds with one another. When I consider my own life, I realize there are times when my thoughts, feelings, and actions aren't congruent. I know this is true for most of us at least some of the time. So no wonder groups have a hard time aligning their efforts. After all, aren't they simply a macro reflection of their individual members?

I recently came upon the
Co-Intelligence Institute. They present a five-level model of intelligence that may contribute to the alignment of groups and the individuals that comprise them. Before we present this model, here are some relevant definitions that accompany it.

Intelligence - Intelligence is more than IQ. It is the whole palette of capacities through which we continually create a fit between our minds and lives and the world around us.

Co-intelligence - Co-intelligence is intelligence that is guided by and nurtures wholeness. Co-intelligence manifests in diverse ways that reflect wholeness, such as the integration of our heads and our hearts, the wisdom of spirit and nature, the collective intelligence of groups, communities, whole societies, and much more.

Wholeness - As noted above, co-intelligence is intelligence that is guided by and nurtures wholeness. Wholeness refers to the evolving inclusive coherence of life and its various parts, and the relationship dynamics between those parts. This coherence underlies familiar concepts like health, integrity, wholesomeness, holiness, and other holistic concepts. Comprehending the many dimensions and dynamics of wholeness can help us understand and enhance co-intelligence.

Wisdom - Co-intelligent theory views wisdom as the capacity to appreciate the wholeness of life with an expanded, deepened perspective -- and to act on that appreciation to produce long-term common good, or useful lessons in that direction. Most phenomena normally associated with wisdom (compassion, humility, insight, etc.) are embraced by this view. Most importantly, wisdom in co-intelligence theory includes the expansion of perspective and co-creativity that's possible through dialogue among diverse people or viewpoints. This is a major foundation for a wise democracy.

Application

Five Dimensions of Co-Intelligence

The five dimensions of co-intelligence so far identified are multi-modal intelligence, collaborative intelligence, wisdom, collective intelligence and universal intelligence.

If we are to know life at a deeper, more engaged level, we'll need to develop a deeper, more engaged intelligence that includes all these dimensions. The Co-Intelligence Institute offers a vision of such intelligence -- a co-intelligent world view based on five revolutionary premises:

1) There is more to intelligence than brains and logic. Many varieties of intelligence are available to us.

Multi-modal intelligence
means there are many ways to learn, know and engage with the world. Our bodies, minds, hearts and spirits contain a full palette of intelligences -- emotional, analytic, intuitive, kinesthetic, narrative, moral... We can use more of these and integrate them better -- especially in synergy with other people, since we're all capable in such different ways.

"It is of the utmost importance that we recognize and nurture all of the varied human intelligences....If we can mobilize the spectrum of human abilities, not only will people feel better about themselves and more competent; it is even possible that they will also feel more engaged and better able to join the rest of the world community in working for the broader good."
-- Harvard professor Howard Gardner, "Multiple Intelligences: The Theory in Practice" --

2) There is more to intelligence than successfully predicting and controlling things. We can creatively respond to life. We can collaborate with the world around us.

Collaborative intelligence means finding and working with all the available allies and cooperative forces around us - and there are many. There are always energies we can fruitfully align with, both existing and potential - even within the heart of adversaries and problems. Working with each other, with nature, and with the natural tendencies in us and the world, we can accomplish more with less, and enjoy it more.

"Rather than asking, 'What can I get from this land, or person?' we can ask, 'What does this person, or land, have to give if I cooperate with them?'.... Everything is a positive resource; it is up to us to work out how we may use it as such."
--
Bill Mollison, "Permaculture: A Practical Guide for a Sustainable Future" --

3) There's more to intelligence than solving the problems in front of our faces. There's wisdom
--the big picture, the long term.

Wisdom means seeing beyond immediate appearances and acting with greater understanding to affirm the life and development of all involved. It involves balance, mystery and tolerance of ambiguity and change. The expanded perspective that accompanies wisdom fosters wonder, humility, compassion and humor.

"The creative edge of truth begins to shift from knowledge to wisdom...[thus moving] on to the challenges of balance, perspective, sustainability and integration."
-- Charles M. Johnston, "Necessary Wisdom" --

4) There is more to intelligence than individual intelligence. There is collective intelligence, the intelligence we generate together.

Collective intelligence means that families, groups, organizations, communities and entire societies can act intelligently as whole, living systems. What we believe, what we do, and how we organize our collective affairs can make or break our collective intelligence. We could improve our collective intelligence to a point where humanity not only survives and flourishes into the foreseeable future, but consciously evolves.

"We need a collective intelligence of a kind that may not have characterized the human
species in the past."
--
Paul Hawken, James Ogilvy, Peter Schwartz, "Seven Tomorrows," a report on the work of the futures research group at Stanford Research Institute --

5) There is more to intelligence than human intelligence. Intelligence is a property of the universe and of all that's in it.

Universal intelligence is the intrinsic tendency for things to self-organize and co-evolve into ever more complex, intricately interwoven and mutually compatible forms. Our human intelligence is but one manifestation of that universal dynamic. The more we are conscious of universal intelligence and connect ourselves to it, the more intelligence (and wisdom) we'll have to work with.

"The mind, I believe, exists in some very real sense in the universe.... Mind was a primary part of nature from the beginning and we are simply manifestations of it.... mind is inherent in the way the universe is built."
-- Astrophysicist Freeman Dyson, "US News and World Report" (4/28/88) --


Would you like to republish this or other articles from the journal? You are free to do so providing you follow these guidelines.
Action

How can you use the concept of co-intelligence in your groups? Please
email us your comments.
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Learn a Provocative Approach to Unleashing the Power of Groups. This four-session teleclass on Appreciative Inquiry, is a facilitation strategy for intentional change that identifies the best of "what is" in order to pursue dreams and possibilities of "what could be." Within these classes we will explore the four dynamics of AI: Discovery, Dream, Design and Delivery. Plan to bring with you the challenges you have encountered or are experiencing in the group/organizational change process. These one-hour sessions will be interactive and we will encourage discussion of specific situations in which Appreciate Inquiry might be applied. Click here for details.

Resource


Co-Intelligence Institute
The nonprofit Co-Intelligence Institute (CII) promotes awareness of co-intelligence and of the many existing tools and ideas that can be used to increase it. The CII embraces all such ideas and methods, and explores and catalyzes their integrated application to democratic renewal, community problems, organizational transformation, national and global crises and the creation of just, vibrant, sustainable cultures.
The goal of the CII is the conscious evolution of culture in harmony with nature and with the highest human potentials. They research, network, advocate, and help organize leading-edge experiments and conversations in order to weave what is possible into new, wiser forms of civilization.

About the Publisher

Steve Davis helps facilitators, coaches, consultants and leaders who are struggling to present themselves confidently, empower their groups, enhance their facilitation skills, and build their businesses on and off line. Please email or call me at 805-489-4130 to schedule a Free exploratory session, or to share your suggestions and ideas for the journal. If you find this newsletter helpful, please forward it to your friends. If you'd like to reprint this article in another publication, you are free to do so providing you follow the guidelines here. Thanks for reading!
 
 
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Exploring the Landscape of Learning

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