In pursuit of collaboration…

“Go forth and collaborate!”

Wouldn’t it be good if it was that easy.
Just tell people to collaborate and away they would go, knowing

  • what to collaborate on
  • who to collaborate with
  • and how to collaborate (effectively)

Do we make these assumptions?
Do we assume that

  • everyone has a consistent perception of what collaboration is?
  • everyone is capable of working collaboratively?
  • or even worse, we give them collaborative technologies and they know how to use them effectively and productively?

Everyone knows how to use social media. Everyone is on Facebook.

Call it collaboration. Call it Enterprise 2.0. Call it Social Business. Call it what ever you want.
It’s different. It’s a change. To assume that people will just pick it up and run with it is very risky.

I’ve been sharing a model that hopefully leads people to understand what collaboration is and some of the fundamentals that are needed to give people the best chance of success through collaboration. Here it is. See what you make of it.

In pursuit of collaboration we build up through communication and cooperation.

Collaboration through Communication and Cooperation


I see this as a foundation for collaboration. You need to be aware of what others are doing and what they are capable of. What’s more you need to keep others up to date of what you are doing and capable of as well. It’s a two way street. Be aware and raise awareness.


If this communication is flowing then it is very easy to identify opportunities where you can support others to achieve their objectives and gain support from others to achieve yours. I’m calling this cooperation is the context that there is a lead and a supporter. The lead has to enroll others to achieve it’s objective whilst at the same time may be providing support to someone else to achieve the outcome they seek.


Finally through the flow of communication and having a cooperative mindset, we can start to identify the particular areas where a collaborative effort will give the best results. In this I talk about partnerships and alliances where two or more areas come together as equal partners to deliver something greater than they could achieve in isolation or through cooperation. They may still enroll others in a cooperative relationship to achieve the objective.

Through discussing this approach people start to realise how poorly they communicate and how they don’t actually engage in cooperative endeavors, but expect to operate effective and successful collaborations at all levels of scale and complexity.

This then gives us good grounding in efforts to improve communication and leverage collaborative technologies for a purpose, as opposed to ‘keeping up’ with others or being instructed to collaborate.

Happy to hear from you on your views of this or what other factors should be considered when looking at collaboration capability?




3 thoughts on “In pursuit of collaboration…

  1. >Happy to hear from you on your views of this or what other factors should
    >be considered when looking at collaboration capability?

    I wrote a couple of years ago. The comments on the dearth of comprehensive software for collaboration is now out of date, but what do you think of the definition and model I proposed at the start of that article?


    • Matt,

      Nice work. I like the breakdown around action, goal, team and coordination.

      There is still a major focus on communication tools and the challenge with dealing with filtering the stream in search of the opportunities.

      Living it right now in reading through my twitter stream whilst watching TV and writing this comment.

      Interesting to see what has survived on the solution side of things and what advances we now have available to us.


  2. Pingback: What’s the difference between data and information? | Communication Tracker – Blog

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