Robin Dunbar’s theory
Robin Dunbar’s theory summarizes that the number of meaningful contacts and connections rarely exceeds 150. His theory has used anthropological studies as well as modern studies of corporate culture, residential areas, and social media to explain the ratio of cognitive reaction. In an article written for the BBC, Christine Ro explains that: “Dunbar concluded that the size, relative to the body, of the neocortex – the part of the brain associated with cognition and language – is linked to the size of a cohesive social group.” Additionally, those that wish to remain inside the connected circle must maintain a relationship of proximity and collaboration. Whether you agree with the theory or not, I believe we can agree that social connection is imperative in our modern business world. The connections we make and keep allow for the free sharing of ideas and innovation. This leads to problem solving and growth. So how do we maintain proximity? If our teams are dispersed throughout different communities, how do we continue connection in a global economy?
Enter the telephone, video call & commoditization
Just as the elevator allowed us to reach multiple floors, so has the telephone and video calls allowed us to connect over distance. By now, we all know the power of a video call. Connection with body language, facial expressions, vibe and personalities are more transparent with video. What we have not had until this pivotal moment in history is the commoditization of the video call. The technology has existed for about 20 years. However the affordability and network infrastructure has only recently made the investment sensible. Teams can position themselves throughout different communities and connect weekly in effective collaboration.
The learning curve
Elevators used to have operators. At one point the elevator became a commodity, the technology evolved, and we no longer needed an operator to facilitate floor to floor transit. But something interesting happened. The passengers refused to leverage the technology. Where dd the operator go? Best practices need to be established and trust between passengers and technology needed to be understood. Proper integration with the environment and familiarity are key to leveraging distance communication. Furthermore, an understanding of the conference technology along with best practices can help maintain a tight circle of collaborative communication. Our world has changed. If Dunbar’s theory holds, we need effective communication to solve our modern challenges and maintain proximity to our circle of meaningful connections.
At Better Building Solutions, we live on the cutting edge of conferencing technology solutions. Our expertise and experience bring you the right product and deployment to enhance your collaborative experienceAt Better Building Solutions, we live on the cutting edge of conferencing technology solutions. Our expertise and experience bring you the right product and deployment to enhance your collaborative experience.