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Teaching an Anthill to Fetch: Developing Collaborative Intelligence @ Work by Stephen James Joyce

Author: Stephen James Joyce
Book title: Teaching an Anthill to Fetch: Developing Collaborative Intelligence @ Work
ISBN10: 0978031202
ISBN13: 978-0978031206
Publisher: Mighty Small Books Publishing (May 1, 2007)
Language: English
Pages: 232
Size PDF: 1486 kb
Size FB2: 1595 kb
Size ePUB: 1877 kb
Rating: 4.4 ✯
Votes: 291
Subcategory: Business Culture

Teaching an Anthill to Fetch: Developing Collaborative Intelligence @ Work by Stephen James Joyce

Channeling the attention and energy of a team has never been more challenging. IQ and EQ (emotional intelligence) are necessary but no longer sufficient to deal with the present rate of change. Getting people onboard and keeping them there demands a new level of collaboration, such as the model presented by Joyce.
Reviews (7)
In Teaching an Anthill to Fetch, Stephen Joyce gives us a new paradigm for work and life. The purpose of the book is to enlighten us to the benefits of Collaborative Intelligence (CQ). Actually he makes a very strong case that we must embrace CQ if we are going to achieve the most from work and life.

Stephen uses the ant and the anthill to illustrate and contrast the difference between the ways of nature and how most individuals act. We need to realize that "at the most fundemental level all natural system are cooperative rather than competitive". The ants, while a very basic life form, by cooperating can accomplish wonders. Humans on the other hand, while extremely complex and highly developed, struggle in so many areas of life simply because we compete with each other rather than collaborate.

While the book's primary purpose is to teach the value of collaboration, it really is much more of a manual for developing or improving your life. Stephen starts with examining our belief system. "Our belief systems control the way we live. Beliefs make good servants but poor masters." Too often, we let beliefs master us, instead of being our servants.

The book is filled with meaningful quotations tied to the subject being discusses. There is a wealth of wisdom in the book. There is really so much wisdom that it would be difficult to absorb it all in one reading.

Some of my favorite bits of widsom are:

"The only happy people I know are the ones who are working well at something the consider important." Abraham Maslow

You can "survive any how if you have sufficient why." Nietzsche.

The book is well written, easy to read and has very important exercises at the end of each chapter. Also there are references to his website for "Go Deeper" on many subjects covered in the book.

The world is changing. The old system of command and control no longer works. If you are going to survive and thrive in today's more complex world, you must learn to collaborate. This is a wonderful guide to the new paradigm.

One word of caution, reading it is not enough. Take action on the lessons that are contained in the book.
This book reads as if a really engaging, curious and bright gentleman took a look around his bookshelves; pulled out the full range of quotes, tips, models, favorite stories; and then jammed them all into a big old shining aluminum can and painted "Collaborative Intelligence" on the front.

To be clear: "Collaborative Intelligence" is a GREAT way to market the stale old cliches of teambuilding. And no one who does leadership or organizational development should EVER get points taken off for writing the obligatory book to accompany the lucretive consulting gigs. But try as I might---I really couldn't find anything really new here. NOT that Joyce is putting anything out there as new. He is very respectful of citing his sources. And he does add value making the work of Senge or Sharmer perhaps a bit more accessible (although I always found the Senge "Field Books" to be extremely accessible. And "Presence" is a book I'd call brilliant.)

As it appears this book will sell---perhaps he can now afford a ghost writer or even an editor. There is a conceptual muddiness that runs through the book. One quick example: Joyce cites "Perception" as being one of the 5 elements of Perception. (page 30). On page 129 he introduces a question (and it is an important one) that he tells us "runs through the whole book." Mr. Joyce---why did you wait till the middle of the book for that?

That's the frustration---the guy really is good. The book really has a core sense of having a message that is vitally important on all sorts of levels. But the book itself is full of half formed, cliches (see the chapter on "Communication")and platitudes that get in the way of his message.

Look for his NEXT book. I'm betting that should he decide to partner with some of the folks he's read---he'll have something important to say. Maybe even something new and conceptually sound.

Roger Wright
Leadership and OD Consultant
Don't buy the Kindle version. The text is tiny and will NOT enlarge. Turning it sideways helps a little, but very little.
Steve Joyce shares a valuable and powerful story to get us hooked on the value of Collaborative Intelligence (CQ). Teaching an anthill to fetch reveals that CQ comes from reciprocal service -- to a greater good and from the greater good to us. CQ is an aptitude we possess without realizing it. We already know most of what we need to know in order to become a human anthill -- a team that serves life by adapting to life conditions no matter what the challenge might be. What I like about this book is that, like the closest friend, Steve walks beside us telling us stories, drawing images, cracking jokes and pointing out the evidence that human intelligence can deliver so much more than we allow it. For someone like me, who believes that individual human intelligence can be meshed into global intelligence Steve's observations are a welcome guide to the learning journey.

Marilyn Hamilton PhD CGA, Founder of Integral City, [...]
I read a lot of business books. I mean a LOT. I even write one occasionally. What Stephen Joyce has done with this book is quite extraordinary. It's rare that we discover a TRULY new way of looking at how the world works. That's exactly what this book does. Joyce practically compels you see and act on new solutions and opportunities. I really think that this is one of the best and most useful books that I've read in a very long time. I highly recommend it.

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