Dale Arsenault gives us a straightforward description of collaboration. 8 Things You Need to Know About Collaboration
- Collaboration is over used and mis-used and is becoming a buzzword for business people and technologists alike
- Collaboration isn’t the same as cooperation or coordination - each have different processes, practices and depth of engagement
- Collaboration is a human process – throwing technology at people won’t magically/automatically create collaboration
- Meaningful, productive collaboration won’t happen without mutuality of desired outcomes, shared values of transparency and information sharing, compassion, compromise
- Collaboration implies that "the needs of the many, outweigh the needs of the few or the needs of the one" and sometimes people aren’t really interested in living by that principle
- Collaboration isn’t always the best process
- Collaboration is not equal to Web 2.0
- Collaboration can be a source of real value in the face of complex environments and situations where no single person has the right answer
That's all there is to it, but it does a great job of saying some things that have been running around my head lately.
#4 happens to strike me today. I've seen calls for "better collaboration" without the understanding that the people who are expected to collaborate are being measured and motivated by different systems. While they may understand what needs to be done, their behavior is driven by different measures.