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It's All in the Concept

The Bad Boys Book Club

By Guest Blogger, Mary Schmidt, Marketing Troubleshooter

Md_horiz From Harvard Business Review: Defend Your Research: What Makes A Team Smarter? More Women 

The finding: There’s little correlation between a group’s collective intelligence and the IQs of its individual members. But if a group includes more women, its collective intelligence rises.

I thought of this research last night as my friends and I were discussing books (and the weather and the economy and politics and gardening and the miracle of my buying a pair of size 6 pants yesterday...)  Are there really any such things as men's book clubs?  I know men read.  They write book reviews. They write books.  And, yet when was the last time a guy said - as he was dropping moola on the table for Happy Hour - "Gotta go guys, tonight is my Bad Boys Book Club."  I'm betting - um - never.  Couples do book clubs...but that requires a couple, one of whom has a feminine perspective.  

Last night, we had our monthly Bad Girls Book Club (Where half don't show up and the other half didn't read the book...;-)  As usual, we had great conversation, going in many different women typically do in any discussion. We can, and do, go up, down and around...and over and up...from any topic starting point.  Something that drives most men crazy.  "How do you DO that?"  They see a group of femmes all talking at once, about seemingly everything.  

So, as we bad girls were chattering away, a man observing us would be thinking...

Are they even listening to each other?  

Answer: Yes.  And, we're also processing at the same time.  What does this mean?  How does this fit with our other ideas?  In biz meetings, we're rocked and rolled onto how to solve the issue...while the men are still working on establishing their place in the hierarchy, which - while sometimes fun to watch - lengthens any meeting by at least 30 minutes. (I'm with Murphy Brown on this one - why not just bring a ruler to the meeting and get it outta da way? One reason I so loved that old show was that Murphy didn't suffer fools gladly, and said what the women in the room were often thinking. Of course, she was in the top dog position, so she could do that.)

 Can we actually be thinking about all these different topics at once, while we're doing yet something else?

Answer: Yes.  

This is why smart men want women on their team.  The One.Thing.At.A.Time linear thinking (and style) of men has its place. However, we women are better at thinking outside the box (with the stipulation you first need a box - of some sort - before you can think outside of it.)   

Well, duh, Mare - of course, diversity is a good thing!  However, it's an intriguing bit from the Harvard research. 

"The standard argument is that diversity is good and you should have both men and women in a group. But so far, the data show, the more women, the better."

Hmmm...we may rule the world yet. 

And in other news, the U.S. women's soccer team is a'rockin'.  It'll be interesting to see what happens in the match with the Japanese team. (Hey! Lookee there...women can play team sports. Who'd thunk it?

P.S. I googled "Men book clubs," and found this amusing article on Salon: Why We Started an All-Men's Book Club.  

We're middle-aged guys who needed an excuse to hang out, read and sometimes look at porn. Got a problem with that?

Ah yes...and that porn thang is a post for another day, or maybe never. 



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