Collaboration can lead to innovation, active participation and involvement, to the satisfaction and motivation, creativity and to a new range of professional facilitators.
We can collaborate for the good and for evil.
We can collaborate to devise a solution that is not easily found or that is not registered as a response to the problems we face frequently.
We can work together to find a path or a support structure that is consistent with our project but with which we are not familiar.
We can cooperate, because it is optional and the transfer of knowledge is vital to getting the results we want.
We can collaborate to rectify situations which are placed to us but which cause dissatisfaction or unease and are frequent in organizations.
Or so we can collaborate to create an undesirable environment so as to prevent the success of others, be they the competition, an opponent in career progression or even in politics.
But where, when and how much collaboration is really necessary?
In the groups that are formed through a “natural selection”, i.e. groups that factors such as proximity, similarities and where there is a prior knowledge, potential relationship is high but contrasts with a weak learning potential.
On the contrary, knowledge and perspectives of those involved in social networks can be more diverse than the knowledge and the perspectives of groups of “natural selection” and, in this case, there may be a positive experience with a good interaction and a strong motivation to collaborate.
Of course there may be lack of diversity in those groups and that gives rise to an effect of common knowledge that diminishes the effectiveness to resolve problems by transforming the collaboration solution in a tacit agreement.
Collaboration is valuable when people need to work together on something that requires negotiating, but assumes a common language and some discipline.
When imagination is required and there is a voluntary sharing of knowledge within a pre-defined structure, for example an organization, collaboration can lead to innovation. This will require the indication of a direction and the need that people’s energies are channeled to a purpose.
Collaboration doesn’t mean “please” … collaboration implies active participation and the explicit wish of sharing.
For example, if a company intends to act in collaboration with their customers and therefore make them their staff it necessary that they have a climate of openness that provides a built-in remoteness of hoppers to embrace the diversity of ideas and accept different ideas.
“The hardest issue to crack is creating open and collaborative cultures and mindsets. The innovation funnel and the “stage gate” model—setting up a series of innovation hurdles to filter out ideas and projects according to predefined criteria—are tried and tested. It takes significant bravery to adopt alternatives. Today’s businesses are largely managed to minimize risk and often suffer from a “not invented here” mentality that rejects outsiders’ ideas. However, companies are beginning to realize that many talented and entrepreneurial people are hidden among their consumers.” – Roland Harwood and David Simoes-Brown
The environment of an organization is typically rooted in an activity already developed and to create an open culture and attitudes is not easy and fast. It requires a huge desire for change and for critical thinking, i.e. requires courage to share and accept views different from ours.
To create a culture of collaboration implies the change not only in a person but in a group or organization and the change proposed by the other create almost always resistance, at least while we do not operate in a collaborative mode.
“One of the impediments to successful change is that people use the belief that “it is difficult and takes a long time” to avoid trying to make necessary changes at all. Or, worse yet, they propose a long-term change process, but only start working on it just before the “due date” — perhaps proposing a two-year project, but doing all the work in the final months (much like my students who, even though I assign a paper months in advance, don’t start it until the night before). In addition, there are many constructive changes that are not difficult and do not take a long time — such as changing small rules or procedures, experimenting with a new and delimited program, and so on. Unfortunately, all too often, large scale change is slowed or stopped because people delay or fail to complete the array of small and easy steps required to accomplish any large change (In other words, they fail to focus on the daily small wins).-Bob Sutton
This finding is particularly remarkable to hindrances individually and we know that it is necessary to put some discipline ourselves to find solutions to our problems or integrate the change without major consequences.
When we entered on a project where collaboration is key to the transfer of knowledge and for co-creating, small steps must be taken together and that means finding common points within the diversity of interest.
Collaborate also means being aligned!
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