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Making Collaboration Work For you Chicago Booth 2- 3- 2010


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The first part of a series using collaboration to explore collaboration for individuals who are less familiar with the basics--where do you find what you want, what differentiates a good collaboration from an everyday effort and how can you become a better collaborator

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Making Collaboration Work For you Chicago Booth 2- 3- 2010

  1. 1. Making Collaboration Work for You February 3, 2010 University of Chicago Booth Alumni Club
  2. 2. |2 Registration Activity • Take a few moments to collect your thoughts before socializing. • Identify 3 to 5 of your personal attitudes, or frames of mind that you carry when you enter the following collaborative environments: – Meeting at work – Meeting with perspective clients – Meeting of a voluntary organization (may be an environment with formal roles or informal roles - please specify) • Put one attitude on each post-it note and post on white board • Make a mental note to yourself of which frames of mind are common across multiple settings. No need to write out/post similar attitudes multiple times. RK, EAS, DF collaborative production
  3. 3. |3 Agenda • Registration 5:30-6:00 • Dinner 6:00-6:20 • Welcome 6:20-6:30 • Opening Presentation 6-30-7:15 • Break (Post-It Notes Review) 7:15-7:30 • Workshop Breakout 7:30-8:15 • Wrap-up 8:15-8:30 RK, EAS, DF collaborative production
  4. 4. |4 Collaboration in action 1. Who is Lee Roy Jenkins? 2. The Best Buy story Best Buy’s smart use of Web 2.0 tools Collaborations are happening everywhere. RK, EAS, DF collaborative production
  5. 5. Collaboration offers a competitive advantage Is China an Enron? THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN ―Finding ways to connect with people Published: January 19, 2010 and institutions possessing new knowledge becomes increasingly important,‖ says Hagel. ―Since there are far more smart people outside any one organization than inside.‖ And in today’s flat world, you can now access them all. Therefore, the more your company or country can connect with relevant and diverse sources to create new knowledge, the more it will thrive. And if you don’t, others will. RK, EAS, DF collaborative production
  6. 6. Collaboration, in Context. . . Collaboration, a Process best suited for: –short term or focused activity –"rapid convergence‖ » Experience Collective » Intuition exchange/ Confident, aligned evaluation Decisions » Data RK, EAS, DF collaborative production
  7. 7. Managing Expectations Technology tools offer opportunity to advance your ―work;‖ BUT…….Quality and comprehensiveness not a necessary by-product. ―90% of collaboration exists in emails.‖ Objective is to have your process naturally match the way people think and work. Let the process evolve to meet the needs of the collaborators. Users create their own ways of organizing knowledge and ―work‖ processes. RESULT—what you see is what you get. Wikis and blogs, when effective, are a work in progress rather than polished deliverables RK, EAS, DF collaborative production
  8. 8. Field of Dreams Just because you build it, or even invite people, don’t believe that is sufficient for people to show up Collaboration for the sake of collaboration—just doesn’t cut it. it takes more than good ideas Even signs of moderate interest isn’t sufficient. To realize a good collaboration…its got to be natural RK, EAS, DF collaborative production
  9. 9. People are busy. So……. Incentives require that goals or expectations be apparent Ill or loosely defined goals or expectations provide little incentive to make time or add to our responsibilities ASK Yourself Two Critical questions 1. Is this the best collaboration I am likely to find, taking into account the search costs of finding collaborations? 2. Is this solution better that other approaches to getting what I want , e.g., figuring it out myself, hiring someone who knows the answer given both the direct and indirect benefits of doing things in a collaboration. Twitter Example: Why Tweet? 1)it’s an effective tool to source/share information 2) check information availability across the Twitter network, Information shared first with those who are following you, but could easily be caught by others on the Twitter network 3) Rapid, character limited response –making it an efficient tool too! RK, EAS, DF collaborative production
  10. 10. Collaboration Environment Framework Collaboration Environment 2X2 Observations • Collaborative approaches offer an array of choices and complex trade-offs • Recognize that no type of Open collaboration is necessarily superior to others • Open is not always better than closed, and flat is not always better than hierarchical • Tonight, we are talking about Closed voluntary opportunities to collaborate Hierarchical Flat RK, EAS, DF collaborative production
  11. 11. Finding the right collaborations to join The right collaborations to join are ones that have: # of members 1. Good structural characteristics which tend to predict success 2. Members who are individually good collaborators - or a large subset of members # high skill/content experts Great structure can’t compensate for lousy individual collaborators -- it won't work well. Well intentioned and good skills also can’t overcome bad set-ups. –Good collaborators can find their way out of this problem... but on which do you want to spend your time? –"fixing the collaboration" or –"getting the collaboration’s intended work done” RK, EAS, DF collaborative production
  12. 12. Collaborations more likely to prove useful when . . . • Collaborative technology tools you employ are simple and open, familiar, or as compatible as possible with those of the rest of the world • The work at hand is being shared, everybody can see everybody’s input. Allow people to learn to filter and sort for themselves increases their sense of contribution and promotes interaction • Build communities of trust: Think modularly, start with a few and then add • Encourage teaming: Encourage variety and adaptability, a recombination of options helps in the realization of an option’s value Open collaboration is a complex — indeed, all-embracing — process, requires genuine commitment … and an appetite for unleashing and managing disruptive change. ―The widespread adoption of open collaboration, [like] the quality movement of the 1980s, …require deep changes in the way knowledge is controlled and shared — changes that have the potential to alter relationships both within a company and with its outside constituents….an incremental approach is likely to lead to short-lived improvements and eventual failure.” RK, EAS, DF collaborative production
  13. 13. Structural Characteristics to Look For – Questions to Ask Yourself 1. Does the topic matter to me (am I aligned with it)? 2. Do I feel that I have something to contribute to it? 3. Do I think other participants (current and future) have a lot to offer? 4. Does the group of people already involved have close to the right skills and resources to achieve the goal?  If not, are they aware of the problem and actively trying to fill out the collaboration? 5. Do I think that it is already well structured and run in a way that would likely yield results, or am I willing and able to put the structure on it? Clear process including self-reflexive loops Open process for discussion Facilitated/moderated process, especially for larger groups 6. Does the collaboration have a well-defined (and satisfactory-enough to me) goal? Or if it's vague is that OK with me? – Clear and attainable short-term and long-term goals 7. If the collaboration is large, is there a committed group at the core that will keep it moving forward? 8. Is there some kind of governance structure, and am I happy with it? 1. Example: Open Source may have a committee or person who gets to decide what's in and what doesn't make the cut as a contribution 2. Executive/administrative function—the approval process (contextual to its creation, not necessarily overt) RK, EAS, DF collaborative production
  14. 14. Workshop Activity First: Visit the wall of post-it notes and select a few you consider to be relevant and interesting to discuss with your group; look for ones different from your initial mindset (4 minutes) Second: As a group, discuss these two questions and record and force rank considerations; use the below table as a model: (30 minutes) 1. Consider a time when you were collaborating well, what were you doing? How were you contributing to the collaboration? 2. Thinking about someone who strikes you as an excellent collaborator with whom you've collaborated; what do they do that makes them so good? Consideration Forced Rank Importance How to Judge Consideration 1 2 of 5 ... Once groups have completed this exercise, we’ll convene to discuss each group’s KEY discovery RK, EAS, DF collaborative production
  15. 15. Being the Best Collaborator / Finding other Great Collaborators 1. Define needs / self-interest well (why you are in the collaboration) 2. Be humble 3. Have a long term view 4. Know when to let go 5. When communicating • Give reasons behind your thinking • Be concise, patient and persistent • Develop good listening skills • Put a stop to domineering, interruptions and put-downs • Communicate frequently, clearly and openly • Acknowledge upcoming problems 6. Focus on strengths, not weaknesses 7. Accept individuals as they are and don't try to change them 8. Be understanding of each other when mistakes are made RK, EAS, DF collaborative production
  16. 16. In closing….. Where to find. . . • Troll your networks • Ning communities or other COPs that have an interest in output • Partner up • Solicitations in the blogosphere • Engage your customers, clients, vendors ―Looking for Group‖ • RK, EAS, DF collaborative production
  17. 17. WHAT’s NEXT? March 3 Best examples of collaboration April 21 Best working practices in collaboration – “How to” Tips (e.g. increase participation quality on different platforms --in person, online). In the next month, we encourage you to try to find some good collaborations—ones that meet a need you have. Use the criteria we came up with to evaluate both the collaboration and the collaborators to determine whether they will or won’t be ―good.‖ Before you leave, take a moment to ask yourself the following and write them down as an objective. 1. What do I want to achieve that maybe I could do better collaboratively? 2. Where might I begin to look for collaborators? Grab a partner and share for a few minutes. RK, EAS, DF collaborative production
  18. 18. | 18 About the presenter/producers • David Friedman develops new business processes for interacting with customers and for working much more effectively within organizations. He is a Principal of Bridgewell Partners, a firm that focuses on helping business people improve their most critical business relationships. David works with professionals and salespeople on improving their business development results. Prior to founding Bridgewell Partners, David was a partner at McKinsey and Company, Inc. Contact: • Rachel Kaberon advances strategic decision-making by developing learning and leadership initiatives to further organizational effectiveness. Her independent consulting activities at Arkay Solutions blend principles of design and a variety of learning technologies to leverage informal or formal collaborations. In her extensive experience measuring and improving outcomes, her business strategy skills have helped design and implement innovative process and system applications for internet start-ups, social service agencies as well as consumer banking divisions for Citibank and JPMorganChase. She holds an MA in Public Policy from University of Chicago and has done doctorate work in learning theory from National-Louis. In addition to her consulting practice, she is currently an adjunct at IIT ID teaching a course in design policy. Contact: • Eric Siegmann is an independent consultant advising clients on how to dramatically boost their business using eCommerce, web 2.0, and social media tools and services. His 8 years consulting experience include work with new product/service development; online platform development; pricing strategy and financial modeling; and corporate strategy and business transformation. Industry specific work spans health care, insurance, and financial services. Besides being part of the Booth network, Eric is proud to be a Buckeye! Be sure to checkout his thoughts on eCommerce, web 2.0 and social media at Contact:, RK, EAS, DF collaborative production