Accelerating Collaborative Intelligence: How to Manage the Transition to Self Organization

Teams and teamwork are the heart and soul of every organizational and institutional project. This is especially true for agile teams. It is not the individual performance or accomplishment that counts, but that of the team. Just like in team sports, the team succeeds and fails together.

Up to now, little research on team collaboration that is grounded in empirical studies in adult development has been conducted and published. The topic is still a carefully avoided no-man’s land. As a result, strategical advice given and practiced regarding team self organization has pervasively fallen far short of being effective. This is about to change due to the appearance of a forthcoming short book by Jan DeVisch, a professor at Flanders Business School, Antwerp, Belgium, and Otto Laske, Director of the Interdevelopmental Institute, Gloucester, MA, USA.

Central to the book are the processes required not only for overcoming stuckness in teams but for developing collaborative intelligence in organizations now experimenting with self-organization in teams. The book is geared to CEOs and Board Members. Senior managers, rather than professional coaches, are considered the main actors. The book promotes the creation of enabling environments for self organizing teams. It serves as a guide to organizations starting on a path toward “Humanistic Management 2.0” (M. Minghetti). The book will be published in April of 2018 in both English and Dutch and will be launched at Antwerp Business School a month later.

The book is written from the perspective of the senior manager who is not interested in adult-developmental findings per se but is looking for hands-on guidance in working with teams on specific issues. For this reason, the book directly addresses the practical issues of leading, guiding, and developing teams,  especially long-term. Many pertinent case studies exemplify and underscore the relevance of the findings and the authors’ experiences from work in the field.

The structure of the Book is as follows:

  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: Why Individual Maturity Matters in Teams
  • Chapter 2: Three Levels of Self Organization in Teams
  • Chapter 3: Enabling Environments for Developing Team Self Organization
  • Chapter 4: Toward a Collaborative Society
  • Chapter 5: Prospects of Humanistic Management
  • Bibliography

A short description of the book is found in the pdf below.

First Abstract of the Book on Self Organizing Teams

Author: Otto Laske

I am the founder and director of IDM, the Interdevelopmental Institute. My background is in philosophy, psychology, consulting, and coaching based on developmental theory to which I have mightily contributed myself. See the blogs at

4 thoughts on “Accelerating Collaborative Intelligence: How to Manage the Transition to Self Organization”

  1. I’m very curious about the book. I have published my thoughts on both the organizable unit as teams scale, as well as how to define a model of how they collaborate together. I share so we can get more open discussion on these topics

    The overall model is on a single slide 17 here as described in my book “Social Networking for Business” (Wharton, 2009):

    The second is a presentation from 2008 specifically on th scales of units:

    Looking forward to hearing more.

    1. sorry for the late reply, Rawn Shah. I will look at your links. You, in turn, might want to look at descriptions of a forthcoming book by myself and my colleague Jan De Visch under ‘Blog’. There is a description of the book and the introduction to it. We are using insights from research in adult development into teams, something entirely new. Best regards, Otto Laske

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