One of the most common complaints about collaboration is that “it takes too long.” Frankly that is because we are so bad at it, and the basic skills are not part of the standard repertoire in our competitive, debate-oriented culture.
On December 6, 2011 Cutter Consortium published a blog post on the emerging crowd-based business (CBB) model. It’s clear that rapidly forming groups, or “crowds,” assembling for the purpose of creating and delivering products to the market are going to have to be composed of expert collaborators. Even if there is a directive “manager” involved, the time required to communicate and educate the “crowd” on a specific execution methodology will be onerous unless this is a crowd of collaborators—people who already know themselves, what they need to know about others to work well, what others usually need to know about them, and have at their command a host of collaboration and facilitation tools.
Oddly, we still hear businesses talk about competitive advantage and worry about our economic competitiveness as a nation. Continuing to reinforce a competitive stance as the first and dominant stance is not likely to help us become a nation of skilled collaborators—so collaboration is going to continue to be hard, even when it’s the only way to get work done.