Re: New book: Beyond Collaboration Overload, by Rob Cross #books #WOL #SNA-ONA-VNA #collaboration #workplace



I’ve been on a quest to find the most relevant models, theories, books or ideas on collaboration. I have explored and experienced the scientific research, academic and professional approaches on how to inaugurate a collaborative culture at work. To avoid the trap of subjectivity, I won’t cite explicitly the theories/ models however I’ll share my findings:


-       Employees will most probably disconnect and lose interest whenever they hear a presentation around collaboration/ Knowledge sharing/ communities of practice.

-       Employees consider that they’re already collaborating through conf. calls/ workshops/ multi-disciplinary projects/ cross-functional teams.

-       Employees put in the mix all types of collaborative technologies: Box, Yammer, Teams, SharePoint, Alfresco, Jive, Tableau… with a little of efforts to understand the differences.  

-       Collaboration terminologies and vocabularies are often outside of the employee’s linguistic field and perceived as jargon.

-       People leaders expect from their team members to get the job done indifferently of the way it’s done.

-       Success metrics are financial and outcome-related and rarely measure the degree of collaboration, shared or reused knowledge.

-       Beliefs, norms and attitudes towards collaboration are most often a cumulation of long-life events that rooted from early childhood, get amplified in school/ university and stamped with the first work experience. Changing one’s belief at mid-20s is a past-due educational challenge.


Recently, I moved from a prescriptive/ normative approach to a more pragmatic/ activist approach towards collaboration. I may summarize it in 3 steps:


-       Step 1: Understand and model the micro-collaboration through a business activity model. This will help me to get the interest and motivation of the working groups in their respective domains. It has helped them to re-learn about what they're doing.  

-       Step 2: Look for the best fit between the supporting technologies / applications and the collaborative requirements for the domain activities.

-       Step 3: Connect the domains and form the macro- collaboration landscape. Model the collaboration in the flow of the work. Simplify the interfaces.


The employee’s role is to help me understand their respective domains, and my role is to help them to connect with related domains.

Thank you

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