Supermind Design for inventing smarter organizations: Applying a new organizational design approach in a professional services setting

32 Pages Posted: 14 Dec 2023

See all articles by Robert Laubacher

Robert Laubacher

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Center for Collective Intelligence

Annalyn Bachmann

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management

Kathleen Kennedy

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management

Thomas W. Malone

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management

Date Written: December 10, 2023

Abstract

Supermind Design is a method for developing novel configurations of people and computers that can get work done more effectively. Stated another way, Supermind Design seeks to facilitate creation of new human-computer groups that possess more collective intelligence than their predecessors. From early 2019 to mid-2020, the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence (CCI) and Deloitte participated in a sixteen-month collaboration in which Supermind Design concepts, developed by CCI researchers, were applied by Deloitte professionals to develop solutions to real world problems. The effort was led by a small team at CCI and several senior leaders from Deloitte. A group of 21 professionals from Deloitte were nominated as Supermind Fellows and took part in a series of live and virtual workshops where they learned Supermind Design concepts and worked together in 7 teams on projects that addressed issues important to organizational strategies, operations, and outcomes. As the teams were at work, they received ongoing feedback from CCI researchers. At the end of the collaboration, the Fellows presented their work to CCI and a group of leaders at Deloitte. The collaboration introduced fresh thinking and encouraged creative problem-solving approaches among the group of Deloitte professionals. For CCI, the collaboration served as a testbed for Supermind Design. Based on feedback from Deloitte, CCI made changes to the approach in several areas, and the collaboration has informed subsequent CCI research, which has included development of software tools to augment the Supermind Design process.

Keywords: Superminds, Collective Intelligence, Organizational Design, Human-computer Groups

Suggested Citation

Laubacher, Robert and Bachmann, Annalyn and Kennedy, Kathleen and Malone, Thomas W., Supermind Design for inventing smarter organizations: Applying a new organizational design approach in a professional services setting (December 10, 2023). MIT Sloan Research Paper No. 6961-23, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4664645 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4664645

Robert Laubacher (Contact Author)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Center for Collective Intelligence ( email )

Cambridge, MA 02142
United States

Annalyn Bachmann

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management ( email )

100 Main Street
E62-416
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States

Kathleen Kennedy

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management ( email )

100 Main Street
E62-416
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States

Thomas W. Malone

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management ( email )

E53-333
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States
617-253-6843 (Phone)
617-253-6843 (Fax)

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