The Collective Intelligence Story

Collective Intelligence is a pioneer in developing professional and personal performance.

We help people evolve and realise their potential – while supporting them to be more resilient and effective.

Harv says it was the most nervous moment of his life.

Nine people were coming up the stairs. This was the first Collective Intelligence team. Harv had no idea if the process would work – and he had never facilitated teams before.

This team ended up staying together for seven years. They learnt stuff. They pushed, supported, challenged and stimulated each other. They thrived.

Individuals Wellbeing

Harv was a director of several companies – and had a concern about the development and well-being of the CEOs. It seemed the more successful the business became, the more isolated the CEO became. the CEOs were looking after everyone else, with no one taking care of them. Harv was concerned the CEO’s themselves were limiting their own organisation’s growth.

Harv looked around at the professional development available for CEOs. Everywhere he looked, it was ‘one size fits all’. He knew that would not work for CEOs. In true entrepreneur fashion, he decided to design something that would make a difference, not just for CEOs but for everyone.

Diversity Challenges Discussions

He was familiar with the farm discussion group model – which works because farmers do not compete with each other. He decided to create a team of people, from completely different industries. He reckoned this team diversity would avoid industry competitions and assumptions – and mean cross pollination of ideas and experience. The more diversity the better.

It took Harv a few months to find the right mix of people and set the date for the first meeting. All he needed now was a facilitator. But every facilitator he approached had the same response – “What is the program?” and “I’m not sure this will work”. With time running out and no facilitator in sight, Harv realised he had to facilitate the first meeting himself.

The first team meeting was illuminating. Even though this was nine professionals from different industries, their issues were very similar. The atmosphere was insightful, engaging, enjoyable and inspiring. With each subsequent meeting, the group pushed each other to further achieve goals and learn. As for Harv, he remained the facilitator, adapting and responding (mostly by the seat of his pants).

Built to Scale

After seven years, Harv’s circumstances changed and he wound up the group because of time constraints. But the seeds were firmly planted for Harv. A question kept nagging at the back of his head – “What can be achieved if we scaled beyond one team?”

Eventually, Harv fully developed (over 25 years) the method used by Collective Intelligence – a uniquely New Zealand approach to leadership. We now have structured and professionally facilitated team meetings held all over the country.

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