On Quora someone asked about the difference between collaboration and cooperation.
Danny was first to answer with:
Collaboration is “working together toward a shared goal”. I don’t know the formal definition of cooperation but guess it means “working together”. People do not require a shared goal to cooperate.
I headed out for a bike ride and thought about the question while riding, and wrote this when I came back:
Collaboration requires two V’s … values-alignment, and a willingness to be vulnerable (give bad ideas, get heated feedback, accept it as part of the collaborative process).
Cooperation requires neither.
For me, there’s a lot more of the concept of compliance / doing what you’re asked to do / going along with the requests of another person in cooperation … whether or not you agree fully with the direction or requested action. Or if you’d do it a different way yourself.
Alternately, collaboration, if you embrace the strategy and behaviour of collaboration as more than just a current buzzword to which you give lip service, requires a shared values, the give-and-take of communication, a commonly valued outcome, and a few other things.
Categories: Culture & Competency