The Collaboration Cycle

 

In a previous instalment entitled “The Collaboration Curve”, I discussed the basic premise that over a period of time and as the use of collaboration methods increase, a user’s knowledge, engagement, network and ultimately their performance would increase. The various increases, however, occur one after the other, and is somewhat dependent on both the use of collaboration methods and the speed at which each stage occurs.

There is a question that remains. How should one actually collaborate?

Enter “The Collaboration Cycle”. 

Collabcycle

To fully embrace a collaborative life and work-style, one must first adopt the CARE Principle. (Continuous, Authentic, Receptive and Enrich)

  • Continuous
    • Collaboration does not occur infrequently, nor is it a one-time instance. Collaboration must be continuous; it must occur with relative frequency such that knowledge continues to be given and gained, networks steadily increase, our personal engagement stays on an upward trajectory, and lastly our performance ability prospers. On the flipside, if collaboration is too intermittent, the cycle doesn’t really have a chance to be successful.
  • Authentic
    • Without authenticity, you’re a fake. If you’re a fake, you are a collaboration hypocrite. Collaboration requires users to be genuine, real and honest. What you write, how you participate, who you attribute, and why you’re collaborating are all questions one must ask to in fact be authentic. Be true to yourself, your abilities, your knowledge, your network and collaborate as someone who is unpretentious and indisputably sincere.
  • Receptive
    • Collaboration is not about one-sided opinion. Collaboration is about being receptive to the ideas, knowledge, input and thoughts of others. It’s having the willingness to listen, the aptitude to synthesize, and a capability to reflect before opining. As much as collaboration is about giving, it is about taking – but not unless you are naturally receptive to diverging sentiments.
  • Enrich
    • We each have strengths, and it is foolish to believe we can be all things to all bodies. To be truly collaborative, however, we must demonstrate with conviction that we in fact can improve ourselves by believing we can enrich a body of knowledge, a network, our level of engagement and ultimately our performance. If you have personal belief in yourself that you can inspire, elevate, educate, improve or enhance any given collaboration scenario, then you are in fact enriching the cycle.

Once we agree to act with CARE throughout The Collaboration Cycle, we can now pinpoint who we are collaborating with. I’ve previously written on how I believe “My Network is my Net Worth”. Although Andrew McAfee describes 4 rings of network ties in his Enterprise 2.0 Bullseye, I believe there are simply two sets of people we collaborate with: Strong and Weak ties.

  • Strong Ties(Permanent and Temporary)
    • Over the course of The Collaboration Curve, Strong Ties may be permanent or temporary. A Permanent Strong Tie is an individual or group of individuals, through past relationships, projects, etc. where your level of collaboration depth is at its peak. The people associated in Permanent Strong Ties are where, arguably, more than 50% of your collaboration occurs. A Temporary Strong Tie is when you are employing The Collaboration Cycle for a dedicated purpose within a pre-existing period of time. (eg. 6-month project or a stage in life) People may graduate from this stage to become Permanent Strong Tiesor they either drift back to becoming a Weak Tie, or not a tie at all.
  • Weak Ties(Permanent and Random)
    • Weak Ties exist to complement The Collaboration Curve. Without Weak Ties, as collaborators, we become myopic in our thinking. Without Weak Ties, the CARE Principle ceases to be useful. Without Weak Ties, our own contributions back to the ecosystem of knowledge are null and void. Permanent Weak Ties are those in The Collaboration Cycle that infrequently contribute and consume, yet they can harmonize the contributions of the Strong Ties. They are a very important relationship building component of The Collaboration Curve, somewhat unbeknownst to them, acting in a capacity that solidifies the end state. (eg. arms-length participation in discussion forums, online polling, etc.) Random Weak Ties exist, in my opinion, through chance. Whether internal to an organization or on the Web itself, think of Random Weak Ties as those who leave a digital footprint on an issue (to potentially be contacted at a further date) but who have landed on said contribution (or consumption) haphazardly. (ie. not necessarily on purpose) They are important, but not critical.

The final component to The Collaboration Cycle is how we ingest and convey knowledge. True collaboration can occur only when we consume and when we contribute back to the network of Strong and Weak Ties. I liken this concept to a term Stephen Downes uses called Connective Intelligence. Quid pro quo. As Robert Cialdini writes in his book The Psychology of Persuasion:

“to engage in this sort of arrangement with another is not to be exploited …but to participate fairly in the ‘honored network of obligation’ that has served us so well from the dawn of humanity”

  • Contribution
    • Whether you are a Strong or Weak Tie, and dependent on the situation, it is imperative one follows The CARE Principle and contributes back their knowledge to their network if one truly wants to achieve The Collaboration Cycle. The level of depth and breadth will obviously depend on the scenario, but it’s not collaboration if you’re not contributing your knowledge, your opinion, your insight or your ideas to the ties.
  • Consumption
    • In The Collaboration Cycle, you have a responsibility to consume the knowledge and ideas of others, thus assisting you to become more engaged, increasing your network and ultimately your performance as per The Collaboration Curve. Think of it this way; if collaborators are only contributing and not consuming, how does that demonstrate the CARE principle? Consuming the ideas, concepts and thoughts from those in your Strong and Weak ties network permits you the opportunity to increase your own knowledge base first and foremost. One can’t really collaborate (or contribute) unless we are equally consuming.

In summary, The Collaboration Cycle is a unifying framework that defines the behaviours, methods and audience that helps to enact The Collaboration Curve.

Does it work for you?

 

Dan Pontefract   Entreprise Collaborative   Ecollab Contributeur

As Senior Director / Head of Learning & Collaboration at TELUS (www.telus.com), Dan is responsible for the overarching learning & collaboration strategy for the company. He has driven a philosophical and cultural shift in the way TELUS views and experiences learning called "Learning 2.0"; the shift to a social, informal and formal learning and collaboration model for all 35,000+ team members, bringing TELUS to the forefront of learning leadership. In addition to these actions, Dan championed the introduction of the TELUS Leadership Philosophy (TLP), an open and collaborative-based leadership framework for all TELUS team members.


Dan is a passionate leader in the learning and collaboration space and is uniquely skilled to ensure an organization can move from traditional models to those that embrace continuous, connected and collaborative frameworks.

 

 

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  At the beginning of the year, on January 2 in fact, I wrote about reciprocity. My hopes were that we’d begin using the behavior of reciprocity...

Informal Learning: Can we formalize it ?

Christiana%20houck%20 %20entreprise%20collaborative%20 %20ecollab%20contributeur

  Formalizing informal learning is my research topic for writing class. It may very well be the foundation of my dissertation! Recently I posted the mind...

Impact of Informal Learning: Output learning

Stories.ol1 2nsp 350

  How do you assess whether your informal learning, social learning, continuous learning and performance support initiatives have the desired impact or if they achieve the...

Apprenance en réseau : Entre formel et informel

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No translation available Pour Thierry de Baillon, je cite «  il est de plus en plus illusoire de vouloir considérer le savoir comme étant soit informel, soit...

From the silo enterprise to the networked enterprise

Stories.cecil Dijoux   Entreprise Collaborative   Ecollab Contributeurnsp 350

  When an innovation emerges, there always are two steps. The first one consists in integrating the innovation in the way we work. The second one...

Creating Value from Social Learning

Stories.articles.entreprise Collaborative   Creating Value From Social Learningnsp 350

  Social learning — namely, the use of social media in the workplace to foster learning, collaboration, networking, knowledge sharing, and communications — has taken on...

L'avenir de la formation et Mars

Stories.articles.marsnsp 350

 No translation available   Depuis plusieurs années, Mars a suscité l'intérêt des chercheurs. Des robots sont envoyés sur cette planète pour détecter des signes de vie et...

Social Learning, Social Media: Brothers in Arms

Craig%20weiss%20 %20entreprise%20collaborative%20 %20ecollab%20contributeur

    Is it me or does it seem that most vendors in the LMS/LCMS market still believe that with some smoke and mirrors, you won’t realize...

Social Learning: Take Me To Your Experts

David%20mallon%20 %20entreprise%20collaborative%20 %20ecollab%20contributeur

  Quick Question:  How easy is it to find another employee in your organization with a specific expertise?  Let me ask the question again another way:...

Social Learning, Collaboration, and Team Identity

Stories.articles.larry Irons   Entreprise Collaborative   Ecollab Contributeur Copiensp 350

  Harold Jarche recently offered a framework for social learning in the enterprise to outline how the concept of social learning relates to the large-scale changes facing organizations...

Learning to Learn in the modern Enterprise

Stories.articles.collaborative Enterprise Learning To Learn In The Modern Enterprisensp 350

  The last few days in Hong Kong have been incredible -- I saw some great sights, participated in some interesting activities and backed all of...

The Lean IT applied to the e-learning

Stories.niconsp 350

  The Social Learning is based on the sharing of knowledge between each individual people. Everyone can bring something into the knowledge pool of its colleagues. The fixed...

Gossip, Collaboration, and Performance in Distributed Teams

Stories.water Cooler Uidnsp 350

  What do you think the typical manager might say if you told them their employees don't gossip and engage one another enough in social interaction...

What constitutes a Social Learning Culture?

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  I've often thought of social learning as a very culture dependent phenomenon. A few weeks back I read an interesting article by Thierry de Baillon, his...

At the Corner of Assertiveness & Cooperation: Collaboration

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  What do we meet at the corner of Assertiveness and Cooperation? The Thomas-Kilmann assessment suggests that it's Collaboration. Their assessment, which is the basis for many others, explores different...

From Competition to Cocreation - and Back Sometimes

Stories.michelle James   Entreprise Collaborative   Ecollabnsp 350

  How do you approach working with others? What is your resonant mode? Here's my two cents: Competition - "I win if you lose." Cooperation - "I will agree...

Why Best Practices Don't Work for Knowledge Work

Stories.luis Suarez   Entreprise Collaborative   Contributeurnsp 350

  I don’t recall having put together a blog post over here on the specific topic of capturing "Best Practices"; so after reading last Friday’s blog...

The Collaborative Curve

Stories.collabcurvensp 350

  Now that I’m on a mission to merge the terms Social Business and Enterprise 2.0 and rephrase asCollaboration, I thought it would be a good...

Formalizing the Informal: Been there, done that

Donald%20clark%20 %20entreprise%20collaborative%20 %20ecollab%20contributeur

  @Ecollab asks, “Can we formalize informal learning ?” My answer, “We've been there, done that.” Except for perhaps compliance learning programs, formal learning processes are...

Learning to formalize informal learning

Tom%20haskins%20 %20entreprise%20collaborative%20 %20ecollab%20contributeur

    When we don't already know how to formalize informal learning, there's a lot to learn. We can welcome the challenge if the process of learning...

From Social Media to Social Business: The social learning as missing link

Thierry%20de%20baillon%20 %20entreprise%20collaborative%20 %20ecollab%20contributeur

  I am often puzzled by the way organizations and agencies tackle social media, as if conversational marketing and Enterprise 2.0 were living in separate worlds,...

The Real Secret to Social Learning Success

Stories.entreprise Collaborative   The Real Secret Of Social Learning Succesnsp 350

      For years training and development departments have struggled to compile the data they need to show value to their organizations. However, we will find ourselves...