Month: November 2008

three c’s of collaboration

I’ve been working on and off to understand knowledge creation and transfer since the late nineties. In its most recent incarnation, it takes the form of studying collaboration. Now that I’m working for a company that focuses on Digital Asset Management, the type of collaboration I’m thinking about lately has to do with work inside a large organization or enterprise.

So I’m batting some ideas around, and I think that I can describe the elements or types of collaboration as:
creative
connective and
compounding
Creative collaboration is an intense form of work where there’s a lot of real or near-real time, explicit interaction with other people – brainstorming, reviewing, editing, etc. in conjunction with product creation tools – in the case of the rich media that my clients are working with, these are Adobe CS, InDesign, Final Cut or sometimes, Word or Power Point.

Connective collaboration has to do with communicating across a larger team of people who may or may not all be working on the same thing, but will all be working on more or less related things. Connective collaboration includes things like project management, communication, planning and generally identifying and connecting people and information for a wide variety of purposes and in a wide variety of intensities.

Compounding has to do with taking work that has already been done, finding it and reapplying it, re-purposing it or otherwise finding value in it that is relevant to what you’re currently doing. The result of well constructed compounding collaboration is that everyone in the organization is constantly compounding the value of work that has already been done. It is the embodiment of the idea that Isaac Newton was describing when he said “If I have seen farther it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.

This is the ultimate goal of the creative enterprise, to constantly compound value, knowledge, efficiency, competence, capability and reach. And I’m pretty sure that creative, connective and compounding collaboration are the means to it.

And if this resonates with you at all, please let me know.

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