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Staying Relevant

It’s against human nature to react favorably to the disruption of process change. Continuous improvement means continuous change, and change takes people out of their comfort zone. How have you seen people react to changes in their work? The typical reaction is resistance. As Machiavelli pointed out in The Prince roughly 500 years ago, there is no constituency for innovation: “There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.”

- Brad Power, Harvard Business Review Read More »

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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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