Does Collaboration Work?June 17, 2014 8 Comments
I like to describe the Interaction Institute for Social Change as a collaboration shop. I like to describe my work as helping people work better together. Certainly any article tilted “The Collaboration Paradox: Why Working Together Often Yields Weaker Results” is bound to get my attention.
I find this to be a powerful piece, and it confirms intuitions and observations from my ten years of doing this work. It is too often that we collaborate for collaboration’s sake. And it is too often that we fall into the tyranny of a consensus that yields subpar results.
Illustration: Oscar Ramos Orozco
When I think about my own creative work, and about the partnerships and collaborations that tend to yield the most, these follow a pattern that is more like the one outlined by Ron Friedman in this piece.
· Find teammates who do something you can’t
· Differentiate between roles
· Insist on homework
Most of the heavy creative lifting happens when we’re by ourselves, working on our own. Better to collaborate after the idea is far enough along that one is actually ready for suggestions. This has certainly been my experience.
Really looking forward to what others think, would love some robust dialogue on this all important topic.