Reflections on “8 Things You Need to Know About Collaboration”

In his blog “Reflections on Knowledge Management and Organizational Innovation”  Dale Arseneault offers 8 thoughts about collaboration.
1. Collaboration is over used and mis-used and is becoming a buzzword for business people and technologists alike
2.Collaboration isn’t the same as cooperation or coordination – each have different processes, practices and depth of engagement

3.Collaboration is a human process – throwing technology at people won’t magically/automatically create collaboration
4.Meaningful, productive collaboration won’t happen without mutuality of desired outcomes, shared values of transparency and information sharing, compassion, compromise
5.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
6.Collaboration isn’t always the best process
7.Collaboration is not equal to Web 2.0
8.Collaboration can be a source of real value in the face of complex environments and situations where no single person has the right answer”

Stephen Abram in his Blog “Stephen’s Lighthouse” adds the following, “It’s so simple, really! And collaboration is the primary and critical key to success over the next decade in libraries.” 

I would add that collaboration is much more difficult than most people realize when they start a project.  Like a marriage, if a collaborative effort  is not nurtured and cared for, it will breakdown over time.  Also like a good marriage, collaboration can be the best thing that happens in an organization.

Valerie Horton


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