Making collaboration easier by using superbly designed technologies is important. But that alone does not constitute a strategy, and without a plan there is no collaboration. Even with all the will in the world, collaboration is not going to work unless the strategy is well thought out and, most importantly, centred around people. This is why disciplines such as HR have to step up. Senior managers have to pay more attention to the fact that most of their employed professionals have undertaken little if any serious study of collaboration prior to getting into workforce. What little most people may know about collaboration has mostly come through workplace exposure; which, if are going to be honest, has not reached its real capacity. Building collaboration starts with people – understanding where they stand, what their attitudes are, how disruptive collaboration is likely to be to individuals, and so on. This week’s edition of selected reading has a few interesting pieces focusing on people management.

Sincere thanks to those who have suggested articles for this edition of Roadmender Recommends.


Tame Your Collaborative Chaos

taming lionRemember the old Star Trek episode where someone brought a Tribble (little furry creature) on board? The tribbles reproduce at an astonishing rate and soon the crew finds Tribbles in every corner of the Enterprise. Collaborative tools are a lot like Tribbles. One person has a need, finds a free tool online, and after a test, their group decides to use it. The same happens with other groups and other tools, and pretty soon you end up with collaborative chaos, much like the problem Captain Kirk had with the Tribbles…READ ON


There’s a Difference Between Cooperation and Collaboration

collaboration vs cooperationEveryone seems to agree that collaboration across functions is critical for major projects and initiatives. The reality, however, is that meshing the skills and resources of different departments, each focused on its own distinct targets, to achieve a larger organizational goal is much easier said than done. In fact, it takes much more than people being willing to get together, share information, and cooperate. It more importantly involves making tough decisions and trade-offs about what and what not to do, in order…READ ON


Why praising effort works better than praising achievement

Praise motivates. Praise encourages. Praise inspires.

Praise motivates. Praise encourages. Praise inspires.

Depending on the approach you take, praising an employee can actually have the opposite effect. The difference lies in whether we assume skill is based on innate ability or on hard work and effort. Put another way, are people born with certain talents, or can talent be developed? (I think talent can definitely be developed, but that’s just me.) According to research on achievement and success by Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck, people tend to embrace one of two mental approaches to talent: Fixed mindset: The belief that intelligence, ability, and skill are inborn…READ ON


Toward a new HR philosophy

What is the appropriate role for the human-resources function? Many companies view it as merely administrative, with little or no strategic impact. Of course, HR leaders bridle at this perception and regularly seek ways to have a seat at the table. In the quest to be viewed as more strategic and more important, HR often tries to take on greater responsibility. (For more, see “Getting beyond bureaucracy in human resources.”) Yet the gap between HR’s aspirations and actual role persists…READ ON


8 New Jobs People Will Have In 2025

future jobsNew technology will eradicate some jobs, change others, and create whole new categories of employment. Innovation causes a churn in the job market, and this time around the churn is particularly large—from cheap sensors (creating “an Internet of things”) to 3-D printing (enabling more distributed manufacturing). Sparks & Honey, a New York trend-spotting firm, has a wall in its office where staff can post imaginative next-generation jobs. Below are eight of them, with narration from CEO Terry Young (who previously appeared here talking about health care)…READ ON



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