The 6 Rules of Simple Intelligence

· September 8, 2018

Yves Morveux is a consultant at the Boston Consulting Group and a professor at several universities around the world. He’s studied work environments and businesses. In recent years, he focused on the study of why there is a lot of unproductivity and lack of commitment in companies. His reflections led him to couin the concept of simple intelligence.

Simple intelligence is defined as an ability to transform complex problems into cooperative, concrete, and easily understandable solutions. Yves Morieux has focused this concept on the problems of cooperation and integration in companies. However, we can apply this idea to all types of groups and individual actors.

“The fault isn’t for failing, it’s for failing to ask for help.”

-Jorgen Vig Knudstorp-

The six rules of simple intelligence are guidelines designed to make companies and groups work better. They’re particularly oriented to ensure that the work climate, motivation, and solidarity are the most important things. This, in turn, is a factor that increases productivity and commitment. Let’s see what they are.

1. Understanding what others do, the basis of simple intelligence

To begin, in the case of companies, if each worker really understands the function of their colleagues, they can also understand them better. This can’t be limited to a description of their functions. Everyone must really understand the complexity of what the other people do.


Men on bicycles.

We can also apply this rule of simple intelligence in other groups and personal relationships. It means that we really must put ourselves in another person’s shoes. And not in a superficial way, we really must understand the complexity of other people’s situations.

2. Reinforce the integrators

Reinforcing integrators in the workplace means giving more power and autonomy to leaders or bosses. This means allowing them to decide without having to follow intricate control protocols or procedures. This is especially important for decisions that have to do with cooperation.

We can also apply this principle of simple intelligence to our personal lives. It means facilitating the decisions of those who have a greater ability to reconcile interests and also to promote agreements. If these people have a lot of support, many conflicts will be avoided.

3. Increase all members’ power

When workers feel they have power at work, they usually respond with a higher level of commitment. Therefore, simple intelligence says that leaders should strengthen employees’ ability to use their own intelligence throughout the workday.

Group working with multiple intelligence.

In this sense, this is also applicable in family and couple life. Each member should have their own control over the shared space. This makes us have a better attitude towards others.

4. Extend the shadow of the future

Yves Morieux proposed an interesting concept called the “shadow of the future”. It means, in very simple terms, that we should create feedback cycles. This means organizing the activities with cycles. At the end of these cycles, we should evaluate the consequences of our actions.

Creating feedback is essential both in the personal and professional world. It promotes simple intelligence because it makes everyone committed. It also helps identify different behaviors in our lives that are causing problems.

5. Increase reciprocity

While we should promote autonomy, we should also reinforce reciprocity. Autonomy isn’t self-sufficiency. We need others both at work and in our personal lives. However, there are barriers that hinder cooperation.

These mental, and sometimes material, barriers don’t facilitate simple intelligence. Common sense tells us that after there’s mutual collaboration, ties are strengthened. It improves the environment and everything tends to get better. Cooperative cultures are more efficient and have greater emotional well-being.

6. Reward those who cooperate

Solidarity is really important for the achievement of common goals. To do this, we must reinforce cooperative behaviors. The best way to do this is by recognizing others and rewarding them in some way. This is necessary to reintroduce cooperation in our culture, family, relationship, etc.

Person becoming a leader.

Finally, this is based on the idea that we can solve any difficulty or conflict if there’s cooperation. If we get help in a timely matter, the results can be great. That’s why solidarity is a great value to reinforce and promote in our lives.

In conclusion, the rules of simple intelligence are the fruit of great studies and long reflections. They’ve been tested and have proven to be effective in achieving something that’s very important in the workplace, as well as in our personal lives: focusing on what’s important and letting go of the rest.