I am a human being. Nothing that is human is alien to me.
— Publius Terentius Afer, a Roman playwright When groups and larger collectives realize their potential for collective wisdom, they can experience moments of profound connection, and become capable of extraordinary action. Often when human beings gather in groups, however, we become conduits for wisdom’s opposite— folly. We use the term folly to reflect a continuum of behaviors, from mere foolishness to acts o
In his book Solving Tough Problems, Adam Kahane writes: This world is too complex and interdependent and rapidly changing for us to be able to reason through everything that is going on. We can no longer rely only on making sense of the whole of what is going on: We also have to sense it. This requires us to access a deeper, non-rational, more ancient kind of knowing. (1) Our language for this deeper, non-rational, more ancient kind of knowing is collective wisdom. Collective
In our forthcoming book titled Leadership for Collective Wisdom, we write: When human beings gather in groups, a depth of awareness and insight, a transcendent knowing, becomes available to us that, if accessed, can lead to profound action. We call this transcendent knowing collective wisdom. This knowing is not of the mind alone, nor is it of any individual alone. When this knowing and sense of right action emerges, it does so from deep within the individual participants, fr