Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Some insight from NetWork 2010

I just ordered "42 Rules for Successful Collaboration: A Practical Approach to Working with People, Processes and Technology," by David Coleman. Here's how I learned about the book (and about the existence of the "42 Rules" series).

I use Google Reader to monitor a bunch of feeds relevant to my work. One of those feeds is ReadWriteWeb. They posted "Video: Analyzing the State of Collaboration,"  which linked to this video from the NetWork Conference, sponsored by Gigaom on Dec. 9, 2010 in San Francisco. The video featured JP Finnell, Managing Partner of Mobility Partners, LLC, interviewing David Coleman and Sameer Patel about what they see in their work as collaboration consultants. Sameer is Managing Director at the Sovos Group. David is Managing Director at Collaborative Strategies. Both interviewees are immersed in collaboration and collaborative technologies in for-profit enterprises. Collaborative Strategies even offers an on-line self-assessment to help organizations measure their current environment's collaboration climate.

I watched this 20 minute video (in which Coleman hawks the book)

Watch live streaming video from gigaomtv at livestream.com
and I liked a lot of what these guys had to say. I'll share two ideas from them.

I was especially impressed by Coleman's theory that technology is only 20% of the collaboration equation, while people and process are 80%. So he advocates approaching collaboration by bring the people first, then the process, and the technology enters the picture last. Very smart, intuitive approach, but most organization's probably start with the technology and try to make it drive the other components.

Patel's attempt to debunk the millennial/boomer technology divide myth also resonated with me. I agree with his conclusion that it's "B.S" And those kinds of generalizations about technology facility across generations (young = savvy; old = luddite) really don't help to facilitate collaboration across the work force spectrum.

The path that led me to Coleman's book also got me thinking about the role of intention in collaboration. I'm going to mull that over and blog about it later in the week. . .

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