III.1 Inovent: Insight – Oversight – Entangle
The combination of social network analysis and AI allows individuals and organizations to radically improve their collaboration by measuring it, to improve it, and ultimately reaching groupflow. Computing a virtual mirror of theirs and others’ communication behavior will give individuals insight to change their interaction for the better. This third part of "happimetrics" introduces practical steps of what you and your team can do to actually reach optimum creativity and productivity through groupflow by creating an entangled organization. It presents the inovent three-step groupflow creation process, consisting of the three components “insight”, “oversight”, and “entanglement”. The individuals gain insight from looking at their individual virtual mirror to understand how they see themselves. They are exposed to oversight by getting honest feedback from others about their communication behavior to discover their weaknesses and if they have not been truthful to themselves. Applying the principle “no pain, no gain”, they learn to accept their shortcomings and turn them into strengths. Finally, in the entanglement phase, they form entanglement through synchronizing with their team members, increasing individual happiness, and creating collective awareness and high organizational performance.
The initial insight phase consists of measuring and mirroring the individual communication behavior back to the individual. This basically means creating “selfies” of the communication of oneself with others, and of the individual values, personality characteristics, and risk behavior. In particular, it means creating a “My-selfie” to honestly assess how I see myself, and how this differs from my desired self-image. Secondly it also includes an “Other-Selfie” to assess how others see me, and how this differs from my desired self-image. Finally, it also includes creating a “Group-Selfie” to assess my position among my friends and collaborators, how they see me, and how this is different from how I would like to be seen by my peers.
Individuals obtain potentially painful oversight by searching for and accepting their shortcomings. This means accepting the “Other-Selfie” that will tell me where my self-image differs from the view that others have of myself and where my weaknesses are. Willingness to improve oneself includes readiness to accept pain in the short term for long-term gain. Already the Romans built their empire “per aspera ad astra”, verbally “over the stones to the stars”. This means facing reality, even if we don’t like it, and be willing to initiate change and follow through on it. In the context of groupflow, team members have to be willing to embrace a challenging task without knowing if they will succeed. If they succeed, they will be rewarded not just by the accomplished task, but even more by the positive flow experience of working together and having had a great time together.
The entanglement phase creates an entangled organization by making predictions about how the organization will be operating tomorrow, based on an analysis of the organization’s communication archives. This will show individuals the consequences of their actions, and influence their behavior towards more empathy and humility, key characteristics of an organization with high collective intelligence . An entangled organization will think and act as a single organism, just like the two mice whose brains had been synchronized through implanted electrodes. A team of researcher at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, had a device implanted into the cortex in the brains of two mice, that allowed researchers to synchronize the brain by sending synchronous rapid pulses to the device that triggered neurons in the cortex of the two mice. The researchers then put the two stranger mice together in a cage . When the light diodes placed in the brains of the two mice were turned on through the electrodes and started flashing in synch, the mice could not get enough of each other, and wanted to stay close together in their cage. Turning on synchronicity triggered the desire for closeness, when the synchronicity was turned off, the mice lost interest in each other.
While we cannot implant electrodes into human brains to start entanglement, there are procedural steps we can take to increase synchronicity among team members. Similar entanglement effects are experienced by humans singing together in a choir, dancing together, and screaming their lungs out at a football game. This means that to induce groupflow in a team, members have to start interacting in synchronicity. To act synchronized and in a coordinated way, personality characteristics like humility and empathy are essential, while narcissism and egocentrism definitively get in the way.
What can we do in our work and private lives to create such nourishing relationships of trust and respect? Everything starts with knowing ourselves. However, while we all think we know who we are, the reality is very different. The image I have of myself is not the image that others have of me. Only when these two images are in alignment, will it be possible for me to communicate with others on the same level and lead a satisfactory life. To discover mismatches between self-perception and perception of others of me, the best way is to look at how I communicate with others, and how others communicate with me. If in my communication with others I am describing myself in very different words from how others see me in their communication with me, if in direct contact I am not capable of looking others into their eyes, when it takes me weeks to answer an e-mail or WhatsApp message, or if others never answer to my messages, I should know I have a problem. Figure 66 describes the steps how virtual mirroring is creating entanglement by extending awareness of self to awareness of others.
Figure 66. How Virtual Mirroring creates Entanglement
A person learns about herself by looking at her “honest signals of collaboration” and other characteristics of individualism and personality gleaned from her communication records such as e-mail, skype, Twitter, and smartwatch sensors. Computed from communication logs and body sensors, “honest signals” measure emotions, attitude towards social issues through the “virtual tribes”, and ethical and moral values of a person. These values are shown to the individual in the “virtual mirror” of her communication behavior, helping her to better know herself. In the virtual mirror she will also learn how others see her, compared to the image she has about herself. This knowledge will help her to become entangled with the people around her, leading to fulfilling and rewarding relationships in private and professional life, resulting in better collaboration and highly productive, happy work teams.