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Collaboration: What Does it really mean?

If you type the word “collaboration” into any of the search engines, you’ll get 82 million results.  I’m quite sure this won’t surprise you since we hear the word “collaboration” all the time.

I have the privilege of speaking to audiences up to 100 times a year. And can you guess the most popular topic they ask me to address?  You got it. Collaboration!

I’ve learned a lot about collaboration in researching for these keynotes, and in discussing it with top business leaders. This has led me to the following five observations:

1.    Definition – There is a lot of confusion on the very definition of collaboration. If you ask 20 people, you might get 20 answers.

2.    Value of collaboration – For the most part everyone agrees collaboration is a good thing to do but many haven’t defined what value it brings to their company, or why to do it at all.

3.    How to do it? –  “Effective collaboration” requires a major focus on culture, the deployment and use of technology,  the adoption of process / governance for positive results. Few companies focus on all three.

4.    Bad is worse than none –  Morten Hansen points out in his book Collaboration, that bad collaboration is a waste time and resources and produces no results.  Deciding not to collaborate is a better option than bad collaboration.

5.    Used interchangeably with “innovation” –  There is clearly some confusion with the relationship between collaboration and innovation.  By being innovative you aren’t necessarily being collaborative and vise versa.  There are interdependencies between the two but they are not the same thing.
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Cultural Considerations of Facebook

“The one thing all the popular Japanese social media platforms have in common is anonymity,”

Facebook has more than 500 million active users and is the most popular social media channel in the world. But accordingly to an online article from The Next Web, Japan is one of Facebook’s lowest performing markets. Out of an online population of almost 100 million, there are just 2 million registered Facebook users which represents a penetration of just 2%. Read More »

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What is the benefit of hiring for culture before hiring for skills?

“Every organization needs employees who mesh with its core values — the principles that define who you are as an organization and that shape day-to-day business decisions. Employees who do not adhere to a shared corporate culture dilute it, detracting from the essence that gives your company its identity and helps it achieve aggressive goals.” – Harvard Business Review (HBR) Read More »

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What affect is 24 hour news having on the perception of what is “foreign”?

“In multicultural societies the notion of “foreign” is more complex. For many in the UK, news about Pakistan is home news. International and domestic news agendas have merged to a significant degree as we grapple with common issues such as climate change, migration or global trade,” Richard Sambrook, former director of BBC News and the World Service and global vice-chairman and chief content officer for PR firm Edelman.

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