If the business world is moving toward a networked reality and we find ourselves working with people from all walks of life and all corners of the globe, then our ability to work together is going to be exercised more and more.
Stephanie Barnes has an interesting comment about collaboration on her blog that go me thinking.
Everyone contributes, and everyone reaps the benefits. Everyone gets a chance to have a voice and contribute to the end product, diversity of opinion is valued and the end product is better than any one of us could have done on our own.
And it is a skill that is sorely lacking in organizations, even teams and groups must work across the phone, electronic media and around the globe. Why is that?
Stephanie suggests a lot of collaboration has to do with the leadership within the organization - leadership that guides the organization, supports working together, reinforces the goals.
Bonus: Charles H. Green just published At the Corner of Assertiveness & Cooperation: Collaboration which talks about the personality style associated with people who seek collaboration in a conflict environment.
I like this too. If people cannot work together to resolve the conflicts, then collaboration cannot happen.
And all this reminds me of Patrick Lencioni's book on meetings that I reviewed a few months ago. If conflict is taboo or difficult, then collaboration doesn't have a foothold. It takes both personal and organizational leadership to work through the conflicts that make business interesting.
[Photo: "Collaboration Office" by xeeliz]