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3 parts to Active Connections - Available, Open and Equitable

Here I’m talking about connecting people to people, people to information/resources, information to information and resources to resources. All the connections that you need to ensure that the collaboration [definition] can flow as long as you've paid attention to the other collaboration pillars:
  1. Good information
  2. Clear communication
  3. Active connections

What are 'connections'?

Unlike 'communications' and 'information', which I have talked about under the assumption that you know what they mean, I'd like to take a pause and let you into my version of 'connections' in the context of the 3 collaboration pillars.

Information is a thing, communication is an activity whereas a connection is anyone of the following:
  • Common goal / purpose
  • Relationship
  • Tools
  • Process
  • Culture
  • ...

Connections are the prepared petri dish into which you place your people alongside your good information and clear communication.

Or another way of thinking about connections is as pipes along which the collaboration (in all it’s weird and wonderful forms) flow, like water pipes, the Intertubes or oil in an engine.

These connections MUST* be:
  1. Available
  2. Open
  3. Equitable

As with 'good information' and 'clear communications' it's no good having 2 out of 3 and if a connection doesn't meet all three then it'll be slow, blocked or even an active deterrent to the collaboration flow.

Usual areas that assist with "connections" - Knowledge Management, HR, social club, the "office clowns", IT, C-level staff.

Sense of belonging;
Mutual trust and respect;
Complementary, diverse skills and knowledge;
Intellectual agility


1: Available + Open

Equitable is a misunderstood word

2: Available + Equitable

3: Open + Equitable

For instance, if one person can edit a page (person connecting to information) but another cannot the connection isn't equitable and therefore collaboration is impeded. Another example would be to have everyone around a white board but then take charge of the pens - the connection to a key resource is not available to all ("He who takes thee minutes at a meeting, controls that meeting" - Mike Boyle, circa 1992)

* MUST - nothing else will do!