Culture & Competency

Some Thoughts on "Collaboration"

To be collaborative means that you embrace a certain way of life and work … an openness to the ideas of other people, and in particular to how their ideas and perspectives may mold, change and transform your ideas. The heart of collaboration is openness to the ideas to others, and a stated and acted upon willingness to explore those ideas, rather than assuming that everything you think is right and correct from the get-go. To be collaborative then, is in essence a human process, that plays out over whatever modality of interaction you use with other people, be that face-to-face, email, a wiki or any other “collaborative technology”.

The fundamental precursor to collaboration is the recognition that another person has something to add, or something that they can withhold, that will contribute to the success or facilitate the failure of an initiative. If they do add their support, they can contribute to success. If they withhold their support, they can facilitate failure.

Sometimes collaboration is so amorphous, or people don’t recognize that there are contributions that others can give or withhold, that a “collaboration” is a collaboration in name and not in fact, adding time and confusion to the process … without adding any value.

Categories: Culture & Competency