The enigmatic nature of creativity and success
How do you make collaboration work?
Immediately the last chapter went out to the review readers in the virtual cafe, posts started to come in indicating that people were identifying with the problems that teams and team managements were having in the information environment. This post by Al Stanley was the first of these:
After reading this chapter, I am at last beginning to appreciate what Peter is writing about. What Peter is saying here about managers, leaders and cooperative projects is something I've lived with all my working life. For the most part, those structures have served their purpose well. But, of late, (the past eighteen months or so), I have gradually seen a disintegration in our working environment, particularly in the working relationships between managers, leaders and peers. The start of this period coincided with our company's migration from traditional products to intranet/internet related ones.
I got that "Eureka" feeling while reading Chapter 7. Suddenly I could see why our teams are not functioning efficiently; why our nerves are on edge; why people who've worked happily together for years are snapping at each other. It's not the "chaos" brought on by technological change that is causing this disfunction, but rather the very structure we are using to manage the "chaos"! What I am seeing every day is managers not managing, leaders not leading, and team members grumbling. Yet no individual person is to blame. It is the structure.
So now I understand Peter's point of view about collaboration. But unfortunately, it would be an impossible sell at my place of work; so I won't even try. But it's something I have gained.
Al Stanley's post, like many other similar posts commenting on the last chapter, accepted that there was a problem but could see no practical solution. This presents us with the dilemma: "How do we apply the technique of collaboration to e-business?"
Before proceeding any further, it is worth re-emphasising the key reason for preferring collaborative rather than cooperative techniques. As was explained in chapter six, it is preferable in situations where there cannot be any definitive answers. It is preferable where there is a large amount of uncertainty, or, where there are knowledge gaps. Just like Game Theory, it is a technique used where rational thinking and logic cannot be relied upon to come up with the right answers.