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The Logic of Co-Operation: Workgroups, Collaboration and Teams


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Getting help with the workload, as it turns out, is a bit more than a no-brainer. The guiding principle is, "be careful what you ask for"...

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The Logic of Co-Operation: Workgroups, Collaboration and Teams

  1. 1. The Logic of Co-Operation Workgroups, Collaboration and Teams An archestra notebook. © 2014 Malcolm Ryder / archestra research
  2. 2. The Who Cares Test WHAT IF… THIS HAPPENED Your workgroup was disorganized. The purpose for being involved was not cohesive or urgent – or it “aimed too high” to be affected in a practical way Your team failed to collaborate. Cross-fertilization did not occur, and the risks of myopia and friction prevailed Your collaborative was unproductive. Contributors were unable to organize or direct a systematic utilization of their inputs It’s easy to wind up having people try to do the wrong thing for the right reason. All it takes is to let them have the wrong expectation about why they have been included.
  3. 3. Where participants come from As a supply of participants in work, at-large populations exist in various forms In particular, three overlapping populations distinguish themselves from each other by the type of “boundary” they recognize as defining them: a staff, a community, and a social network. Furthermore, in the context of a company, they co-exist in a way that intends for them to be “captive”.
  4. 4. Herding The Cats… However, a captive population has a membership privilege: exposure to company objectives. Working on the objectives can be informal or formal, and scheduled or unscheduled. And, the company can use members of the populations without being inhibited by their boundaries. Three additional groupings of participants are drawn from the captive populations; most typically, they are workgroups, collaborations, and teams. Each participant group comes into being by a different path.
  5. 5. Workgroups, Collaborations, Teams The following sketches point out the essential difference in how (first) the three participant groupings are formed, and (second) what characteristic of work is most distinctively served by each new group. (** company-captive) Task Participants © 2014 Malcolm Ryder / archestra research At-large Task Force
  6. 6. Precedents Purely as a matter of empirical examples, we know a bit more about how the supply of participant groups compare. We can characterize our experience of working with these groups, roughly… Community A “crowd” Social Network An “open” environment of transaction parties Staff A collection of task “partners” That provides cues for planning action on a workload, including a distinction of basic responsibilities and expectations that organize co-operation…
  7. 7. The Logic of Co-Operation: Participation versus Production © 2014 Malcolm Ryder / archestra research
  8. 8. © 2014 Malcolm Ryder / archestra research