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Collaboration - How I Define It

Collaboration, literally, consists of working together with one or more other people.
All parties work together and build consensus to reach a decision or create a product, the result of which benefits all parties. Competition is a nearly-insurmountable roadblock to collaboration, and the relationship among parties must continue beyond the accomplishment of the task in order to assure its viability. The goal is dynamic.

Why bother doing collaboration?

There are times when it is inappropriate so firstly be aware of the differences between the 3 C's (collaboration, consultation and communication). Once easy method of deciding is to ask yourself if you want to:
Achieve collective results that the participants would be incapable of accomplishing working alone
If so, collaboration is the way to go.

What do you need around you for good collaboration?

Base collaboration comprises 3 pillars:
  1. Good information
  2. Clear communication
    • Shared objectives;
  3. Active connections
    • Sense of belonging;
    • Mutual trust and respect;
    • Complementary, diverse skills and knowledge;
    • Intellectual agility

A common sense of urgency and commitment with a dynamic process helps focus these pillars.

Appropriate tools

There are any number of tools that I could point out, the key message is that do not believe collaboration tools can only come in the form of a computer program!

  • Appreciative inquiry;
  • Open Space meeting protocols;
  • Four Practices (opening; inviting; holding and supporting; grounding)
  • Conversations;
  • Stories;
  • ICT collaboration tools

See also

Open Spaces and Four Practices: