The Dangers of Pushing Collaboration Too Far

At the Interactions 2012 conference next week in London, I’ll be talking about the dangers of pushing collaboration too far:

Someone drives a car too fast and crashes, writing off the car and breaking their leg in the process. Is the car to blame or the driver?

Another person guzzles too much water before breakfast, resulting in a severe bout of choking. The water or the drinker?

And yet another person runs too far too quickly in training for a marathon, resulting in shin splints and sore knees. The act of running, or the way the runner is approaching it?

In each of the above cases—driving, drinking water, and training for a marathon—there’s an ideal range of activity. Staying within that ideal range of activity—not too slow/little, and not too fast/much—and the activity works fine. Exceed the range and you either miss the real opportunity or overshoot where you should have been at often high cost.

The same principle applies with collaboration at work, and it’s the dangers of too little or too much that I’m going to talk about at the upcoming Interaction 2012 conference in London on October 3.

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