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The adoption of new ideas is not a precise science. Certainly it is not always about logic and rationality, as much as we hope these would be part of the argument. Embracing collaboration is one of those ideas whose seemingly simple construction leads to a blind spot: we think that people accept what they understand. This is only a small part of a larger puzzle. New ideas mean change – and that is a whole different story. In this selection I have aimed to include a few stories that may inspire courage and nudge reluctant collaborators to power ahead. Of particular note is the piece that reflects on the perennial challenge of balancing competition and collaboration. In a similar vein, other articles include the disruptive nature of collaboration, the issues small organisations face when collaborating with larger partners, and the traps to avoid for safe and productive collaboration.

 

Why collaborating with the competition can make business sense

General CSR coalitions are being supplemented by those focused on specific issues such as the Tire Industry Project, which looks at environmental impact. Photograph: Desintegrator/Alamy

General CSR coalitions are being supplemented by those focused on specific issues such as the Tire Industry Project, which looks at environmental impact. Photograph: Desintegrator/Alamy

Businesses are engaging in varied models of collaboration to improve their own, and society’s resilience. Businesses banding together to learn from each other is nothing new: think of medieval guilds or chambers of commerce. More recently, business-led corporate responsibility coalitions have galvanised action on economic regeneration, social inclusion and responsible business practices. Business in the Community, for example, has got member companies to act on issues such as employability, homelessness and mental health in the workplace…READ ON

 

 

Lessons from America: why colleges must collaborate rather than compete

In May, I was part of a group of vice chancellors that visited America to learn how its education institutions are tackling the challenges of globalisation. The visit offered a window into Chicago’s higher education system, including the city’s community colleges. How is this powerful city tackling the challenges of increased global competition in education? And how is it responding to local needs in a fast-changing technological and economic environment?…READ ON

 

How a chief collaboration officer can help IT projects succeed

CCOIn recent years, some progressive companies have hired a chief collaboration officer to help guide joint projects, partnerships and shared services. Too often, collaboration falls in a gap between the CIO, the human resources office and the CEO. A CCO is a great idea, and one that some government organizations (including the Navy) are starting to explore. And it’s a good time for this type of executive appointment. Government agencies at all levels are moving more of their IT solutions to the cloud or to shared services, and in the process they are running into road blocks, including:…READ ON

 

Collaboration: a distracting buzzword, or vital for business growth?

Collaboration is one of the buzzwords of the early 21st century. It has become a hot topic among early-stage companies, governments, artists, charities, startups and corporate behemoths. Many see collaboration as a super-pill that can cure organisations’ ills, regardless of the diagnosis. But is it truly as effective as we are led to believe? Small businesses and early-stage companies should be especially cautious. There is no denying that collaboration is fun, and often intellectually exhilarating; it can also be helpful in generating new ideas and developing projects…READ ON

 

The disruptive power of collaboration: An interview with Clay Shirky

From the invention of the printing press to the telephone, the radio, and the Internet, the ways people collaborate change frequently, and the effects of those changes often reverberate through generations. In this video interview, Clay Shirky, author, New York University professor, and leading thinker on the impact of social media, explains the disruptive impact of technology on how people live and work—and on the economics of what we make and consume. This interview was conducted by McKinsey Global Institute partner Michael Chui, and an edited transcript of Shirky’s remarks follows…READ ON

 

Tesla’s collaboration with both Toyota and Daimler is a good example of how large and small companies can collaborate effectively. Source: http://advertisementfeature.cnn.com/think-brilliant/collaboration-not-disruption.html

Tesla’s collaboration with both Toyota and Daimler is a good example of how large and small companies can collaborate effectively. Source: http://advertisementfeature.cnn.com/think-brilliant/collaboration-not-disruption.html

IBM and Dow Collaboration Delivers Sustainable Solutions in Ethiopia While Building Employee Leadership Skills

“Collaboration is instrumental in a project of this scope because no one company holds all the solutions to the world’s problems,” said Michelle Langley, Program Leader for Dow Sustainability Corps, Global Disaster Relief and STEM. “More than 35 percent of the world’s population lacks access to improved sanitation. By aligning strategies and leveraging each other’s employee talent, Dow and IBM can leave a lasting impact on the region.” “By bringing together the top talent and emerging leaders at IBM and Dow, we are able to strengthen the impact we make on the community as well as deepen the experience for the employees, ultimately building lifelong relationships and sustainable solutions,” said Gina Tesla, Director, IBM Corporate Citizenship…READ ON

 

How to Successfully Collaborate With a Larger Business Partner

In the tech space, partnerships can go a long way to round out a product offer, speed time-to-market, or extend sales channels. It takes effort and attention to manage these relationships, especially if you are a smaller company dealing with a larger, established partner. The larger the brand, the more work we have to do in advance to demonstrate the value of the partnership…READ ON

 

GSA CIO: Successful Organizations Connect, Collaborate and Innovate

Successful CIOs are driving digital business transformation, leveraging mobile, social and cloud computing technologies to improve workforce productivity, while reducing IT expenses and bolstering employee engagement. Sonny Hashmi, Chief Information Officer (CIO) for the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), has received the 2013 Federal 100 award for Digital Government Innovation — as a “cloud expander.” Using cloud to enable social communities and leverage the genius of the crowd, Hashmi is saving GSA millions of dollars and bringing about many business efficiencies…READ ON

 

…and now for something completely different…

15 Designers Reveal Secrets For Staying Productive

Since April, Samara, Russia-based designer Yevgeny Yermakov has been asking designers a series of five questions–about work habits, favorite books, career challenges, and creativity–and publishing their answers on his website. The project, “5 Questions for 100 Designers,” is growing into a trove of wisdom from the industry’s leading minds. Forty-four interviews are up so far, with designers from Jessica Hische to Debbie Millman to Michael Bierut. One of Yermakov’s questions addresses that most elusive and sought-after of virtues: productivity. He asks, “Are there any rules or habits that help you do your job more efficiently?”…READ ON

 

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