What Makes a Team Smarter? More Women

A recent study has shown that there’s little connection between a group’s collective intelligence and the IQs of its individual members. Just because your group is made up of smart people doesn’t necessarily make the group effective. But if the group includes more women, its collective intelligence rises. This is apparently due to women having higher ‘social sensitivity’.

Anita Woolley and Thomas Malone, speaking to Harvard Business Review:

In theory, yes, the 10 smartest people could make the smartest group, but it wouldn’t be just because they were the most intelligent individuals. What do you hear about great groups? Not that the members are all really smart but that they listen to each other. They share criticism constructively. They have open minds. They’re not autocratic. And in our study we saw pretty clearly that groups that had smart people dominating the conversation were not very intelligent groups.


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