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The "Secret" to High-Performance Collaboration Is Practice

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Most of us recognize the critical importance of collaboration in our everyday lives, whether with family, friends, colleagues, or community. Sadly, most of us also have had more bad experiences working with others than good, much less great. Why is this? How can we shift it? What’s the “secret” to high-performance collaboration?

The answer is simple, but not easy: Practice. We can look at other high-performance collaborative fields — from sports to music — to understand how best to structure and support practice that will lead to better collaboration.

These slides are from a keynote I gave at The Collaboratory 5 on March 22, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia.

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The "Secret" to High-Performance Collaboration Is Practice

  1. 1. http://fasterthan20.com/ The “Secret” to High-Performance Collaboration Is PRACTICE Eugene Eric Kim eekim@fasterthan20.com The Collaboratory March 22, 2017 Atlanta, Georgia
  2. 2. What is the best collaborative experience you’ve ever had?
  3. 3. What would your life be like if all of your collaborative experiences were at least as good as your best?
  4. 4. What would the world be like if everyone’s collaborative experiences were at least as good as their best?
  5. 5. What’s the secret to high-performance collaboration? How do you scale this?
  6. 6. (I was dissatisfied with my impact. Wanted to rethink my approach.)
  7. 7. Everyone is capable of getting good at collaboration. It just takes practice.
  8. 8. Most mediocre (or worse) collaboration experiences are a result of not practicing enough.
  9. 9. How much practice do we need to get really good at collaboration?
  10. 10. 82 games x 48 minutes / game = 65.6 total hours Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct 11 hours / month of performance. The rest (93%) is practice. NBA Regular Season
  11. 11. 9:1practice : performance What’s your practice-to- performance ratio?
  12. 12. Shifting the Culture Guru- centric Practice -centric
  13. 13. How might we create structures that encourage effective practice?
  14. 14. Ecosystem of Practice (Fitness) Cost Supply Books, articles, videos, websites Personal trainers Bootcamps, gyms, club sports, classes What it is right now Coverage across the spectrum, with more lower cost options + practice-centric paradigm
  15. 15. Ecosystem of Practice (Collaboration) Cost Supply Books, articles, videos, websites Consultants Business schools One-off trainings What it is right now Gap in options + guru-centric paradigm
  16. 16. Ecosystem of Practice (Collaboration) Cost Supply Books, articles, videos, websites Consultants Business schools One-off trainings What it should be Bootcamps, gyms, jam sessions Shift to practice-centric paradigm
  17. 17. How might we improve the ecosystem for supporting collaborative practice?
  18. 18. Pausing Asking generative questions Listening actively Navigating power Acting strategically Group information hygiene Working inclusively Working iteratively Synthesizing / validating Facilitating alignment Thinking systemically Self-awareness Asking for help Giving / receiving feedback Challenging conversations Weaving High-Performance Collaboration Muscles
  19. 19. Exercise Assess Target Repeat Cycle Over and Over Again
  20. 20. Ecosystem of Practice (Collaboration) Cost Supply Books, articles, videos, websites Consultants Business schools One-off trainings What it should be Bootcamps, gyms, jam sessions Shift to practice-centric paradigm
  21. 21. Shifting culture starts with you. How might you better integrate practice into your work?
  22. 22. Early results are promising. Learning a lot, especially how hard the journey is.
  23. 23. Thank you! We’ll do a workout together next. In the meantime, any questions?
  24. 24. For More Information Thanks to Anya Kandel, H. Jessica Kim, and Amy Wu for their feedback on this talk. Amy also drew the delightful doodles. Photo credits: • “Lots of wild bow action.” Juhan Sonin. CC BY. https://www.flickr.com/photos/juhansonin/4446978255/ Eugene Eric Kim eekim@fasterthan20.com @eekim on Twitter http://fasterthan20.com/

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