Group sex issues

25May11

According to an article in Harvard Business Review (June 2011) the collective intelligence of a group of people does not correlate with their individual IQs. In other words, a committee of clever people is no more likely to make a good decision than a committee of averagely intelligent people. But if a group contains a majority of women, it has a higher collective intelligence, irrespective of individual IQ.

Previously I have worked in a business where the majority of decision-makers were male. At the moment I am doing some work in a business where the leaders are mainly female. The only difference I have noticed so far is that very little time is wasted talking about sport. But I have observed over the years that a mixed-gender team is more effective than an all-male team (in business I mean, not football).

In the same edition of HBR there is a snippet about research which has shown that “when it comes to collaborating on stressful tasks, caffeine impairs men’s performance but boosts women’s”. This may be because caffeine amplifies behaviours under stress, when a man’s instinct is to “fight or flee” and a woman will “tend and befriend”.

However, caffeine does enhance sporting performance for men.

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