Culture & Competency

Ten Rules for Modern Collaboration – Edward Boches

Edward reflects on a bunch of experiences and observation, and proposes ten rules for modern collaboration:

Obviously collaboration has been a big part of the advertising and production business for decades. In fact, adman Alex F. Osborn, the “O” in BBDO invented — or at least pioneered — “brainstorming,” which had been practiced at his NY agency for years, presenting it in his 1948 classic, Your Creative Power.

But the world has grown a lot more complex since the days when a group of like-minded white men sat around an oak conference table and agreed not to criticize each other’s brain farts. We’re no longer simply in search of cleverness, or even positioning. And the range of disciplines and expertise necessary to conceive and execute a multi-channel, immersive, ongoing, engaging user experience takes a new set of collaborative tools and tactics.

Based on a combination of experience, discovery and observation, here are 10 tactics you might want to consider putting into practice inside your company.

The ten rules are:
1. Embrace openness – have an open exchange of ideas and concepts.
2. Creation collisions – mix people up in the work environment.
3. Assemble diverse teams – too much continuity breeds bad thinking. The book “Connected” had a similar conclusion.
4. Leave senior people out – they stifle idea sharing.
5. Know who’s in the room – introduce yourself at the beginning of a meeting.
6. More 20- and 30-somethings.
7. Shut up for 10 minutes – get people to write first (personal brainstorm), then share.
8. Find the number – it’s probably about 7 people.
9. Let the group decide – voting is in, single person decision making is out.
10. Value the network – don’t assign credit to individuals.

There’s 26 comments on the post too – many more good ideas in there.

My Comments
1. These ideas resonate with me. Well done to Edward for pulling them together.

2. The context for these comments are centered on meetings, not online collaboration efforts. Some rules will carry over, others will be irrelevant. Context is important.

3. Which of these rules have you embraced already – and how did it go? Which ones do you struggle with?

Categories: Culture & Competency