This website covers topics on knowledge management, personal effectiveness, theory of constraints, amongst other topics. Opinions expressed here are strictly those of the owner, Jack Vinson, and those of the commenters.

Watch your defintions - collaboration

A friend pointed me to yesterday's Thomas Friedman column in the NY Times on definitions of "collaboration." Collaborate vs. Collaborate

col-lab-o-rate [k uh-lab- uh-reyt]

verb (used without object), col-lab-o-rat-ed, col-lab-o-rat-ing.

1. to work, one with another; cooperate, as on a literary work: They collaborated on a novel.

2. to cooperate, usually willingly, with an enemy nation, especially with an enemy occupying one’s country: He collaborated with the Nazis during World War II.

Friedman's focus is mostly definition 2, associated with political gridlock (in Washington DC) as compared to how I usually think of collaboration - definition 1.  

It's a good reminder that definitions and common understanding are important. Emphasizing collaboration - or any other concept - to someone who has a negative connotation isn't going to help matters.  

Improvement methods - is there a best?

Data, information, ... redux