The Doctrine

What are the underlining values of collaboration? In this post, we examine the fundamental values associated with the doctrine of collaboration! Understanding the philosophy behind collaboration helps to avoid obstacles when collaborating to solve a common problem.

The Philosophy

The doctrine of non–traditional collaborative problem solving supports innovation by helping to bring people together from different backgrounds, values, and skill sets to effectively come together and tackle a common problem primarily by utilizing trust. When you have coalesced your group on a collaborative platform, you will want to incorporate the philosophy of collaboration.

The philosophy of collaboration requires a foundation of trust and entails empowering everyone in the group to agree that the “wisdom and contributions of the crowd” will:

  • develop consensus and make the best decisions for the group and the community
  • define short and long-term goals and take appropriate action by soliciting group consensus
  • dialogue for the best outcomes to a problem, with the best ideas floating to the top
  • self-police for the benefit of the group or reach out to an administrator if there is an obstacle
  • consult with subject matter experts in the event there is no consensus in the group
  • foster an environment where everyone’s contributions are valued
  • foster recognition of a group’s contributions for victories vs individual recognition
  • permit subject matter experts to emerge as leadership naturally based on merit and contributions
  • assign tasks based upon “merit” and “adding value” which includes being in the trenches, creating value through contribution consistently vs. titles and roles
  • foster an environment of creativity, autonomy within specialized groups
  • discourage a system that requires an approval from one person for all actions or bottlenecks good ideas
  • invest in the members of your group by cross training, take time to teach others (see one, do one, teach one)
  • focus on your immediate area of expertise/ learning and permit others to do the same
  • refrain from making any determinations of success or failure in a group you are not diligently participating in
  • read each group’s goals and review any threads before joining or contributing to a conversation
  • welcome new members, as they informally introduce themselves, assist them to find their “niche” and help them to identify their role within the collective group

Sharing Common Goals

Through equanimity, we can offer a democratic environment that is conducive to others joining our ranks, contributing their gifts or talents and gaining traction as a grassroots movement.

We are all contributing to achieve a common goal. No one has to participate. We are here because we want to create a viable solution. When collaborating, we see a need, and we address that need together.

Many of us have other obligations, health issues, or projects that require our time, effort and resources. The flexibility of collaborative tools permit us to overcome those obstacles.

The nature of crowdsourcing naturally brings people together from different backgrounds, skill sets, values, beliefs and geographical locations and even time zones to effectively manage and address problems.

Crowdsourcing never stops because people have access to collaborative tools 24 hours/ day, 7 days/week and 365 days/year.

The good news is that crowdsourcing is flexible for everyone’s needs, regardless of barriers.

Collaborative Advantage vs. Inertia

While there are a lot of positive aspects to collaborative groups and crowd sourcing a common problem, things can get bogged down through inertia.

Below is an excellent video by Matthew Koschmann, a professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Colorado Boulder. The purpose of this video is to explore the topic of collaboration and explain a constitutive communication approach to enhance our understanding of collaboration to avoid pitfalls associated with a collaborative setting.

Check out the video “The Collaborative Challenge: Making Quality Decisions Together in the Age of Complexity” that explores how to “remain productive” in a complex collective setting by avoiding collaborative inertia.

Building Tribes

If you have made it this far, then you are a “true collaborator!” Congratulations!

We can’t end this conversation, without referring to the man who originally coined the phrase “building tribes” and literally started a collaborative revolution.

If you really want to “harness the power of the crowd,” then all of your information and work through collaborative tools, must be disseminated.

That means we need to explore how to “build tribes.”

Seth Godin, is a “tribe extraordinaire”, in the video below he discusses the philosophy collaboration and how to build tribes!

Check out the video below “The Tribes We Lead” by Seth Goldin.

Thanks to Professor Matthew Koschmann and Seth Godin for their contributions about the doctrine of successful collaboration.

Have any tips on successful collaboration?

Thanks for sharing your tips with us!