Never before have so many people had access, through mobile, social and digital technology, to so much data, knowledge and collective brainpower; this connectedness gives us power to solve big problems, turn dreams into realities, create amazing products, upgrade survival to prosperity, change social policy, discover life-saving medical cures and much, much more, according to Erica Dhawan and Saj-Nicole Joni in their book Get Big Things Done: The Power of Connectional Intelligence.
Connectional intelligence, according to the authors, in the ability to combine the world’s diversity of people, networks, disciplines and resources, forging connections that create value, meaning and breakthrough results. The book goes on to illustrate this idea with numerous stories of people who have used their connectional intelligence to enlist the help of large numbers of people in order to achieve extraordinary outcomes.
Examples range from Florence Nightingale, whose data-gathering skills, organizational skills, persuasion skills and campaigning skills led to a 90% reduction in the mortality rate for wounded soldiers, to the creators of Foldit, an online game which enables members of the public to compete and collaborate in solving problems relating to the shape of proteins.
Part 3 of the book contains a number of tools and resources to help the reader down the path of getting big things done. The tools include a connectional intelligence quiz, a workplan, a manager guide and a discussion guide.
In my opinion the book is more an inspiration for achieving more through connecting to others than a scientific analysis of a new form of intelligence. The idea of getting big things done is probably a bit too abstract for readers who do not already have particular undertakings in mind. Nonetheless, those who have ideas for changing the world may find that this book gives encouragement along the way.