The cumulative knowledge of a team

Knowing is not enough, we must apply,

Willing is not enough, we must do!

Bruce Lee
We each bring our unique range of knowledge and experience. 

Diversity

Let’s take a look at the knowledge of a communications team consisting of 20 individuals, ages ranging from 21 to 65. Each member of the team educated in a different location, some in different countries, all at different schools, with different curriculums and teachers. They each leave school and navigate through further unique experiences, life events, environments, jobs, influences, circumstances and other endless variables. This group of unique individuals form a team that is completely unique an unlike any other team in the world.

Cumulative experience 

The average age of this team’s members being approx. 40 years old, with an estimate of at least 25 years’ experience each. That’s an incredible cumulative experience of 500 years.

20 people each with an average 25 years’ experience - 20x25=500

Gather your ideas

So we have established we have a diverse and experienced team… now how many ideas are this team of 20 having each day?

There have been numerous studies to try count the thoughts and ideas of an individual and some studies suggest an average person is capable of 50,000 thoughts a day. Some scientists say that the brains of the iGens have many more synapses than other generations so are capable of even more thoughts and ideas. 

Let’s pair this down and say ‘we each have 20 good ideas every day’ it’s probably much more than this, but for this discussion, let’s stick to 20 ideas per day.

Back to our Communications team of 20, with their cumulative experience of 500 years. and we’ll estimate that each team member has at least 10 good ideas each day… this team is producing 200 good ideas every day.

Harness and share

So how are we harnessing this valuable asset? We should certainly encourage, document and share these ideas. If each person, in this team of 20, were to log their best idea each week, the team would document 1000 great ideas a year. 

I think it is time to encourage our colleagues, to consider documenting and sharing new ideas. Challenge old ways of doing things and foster teams that feel free to share ideas and be prepared to implement some of those ideas.

We are each a great resource but collectively we have an expansive wealth of knowledge, experience, skills, theories and characteristics that form the essential components of a diverse and inclusive workforce.

Food for thought

A company of 5000 employees, with an average of 20 years’ experience each, would equate to 100,000 years cumulative experience.

That’s simply incredibly!

  • Discuss the best way to capture team ideas
  • Factor in time to share and discuss these ideas
  • Implement some of these ideas

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