Many people think that collaboration is simply inviting a bunch of different people to a meeting at the launch of a project to review a project charter. Others think collaboration is competition. Or just cooperating and getting along with others. Collaboration is much more!
According to Wikipedia:
Collaboration is a recursive process where two or more people or organizations work together to realize shared goals, (this is more than the intersection of common goals seen in co-operative ventures, but a deep, collective, determination to reach an identical objective) — for example, an intriguing endeavor that is creative in nature–by sharing knowledge, learning and building consensus.
Another way to look at it — collaboration is a group of people working together, openly sharing plans and ideas, making decisions and solving problems, setting goals, assuming responsibility and accountability, Collaboration is a group of people working together cooperatively, communicating and coordinating openly to achieve a shared goal.
Why is collaboration so important?
The days of lone genius quietly toiling away in pursuit of that ‘Eureka’ moment are over. In the past, you could work in isolation, handing over your completed task to the next person…as so on until job completion. Today, jobs change very quickly and in order to work effectively in fast paced environments, you need to seek out people who have the other pieces of the puzzle and work with them on increasingly complex issues (Building a Collaborative Workforce).
By collaborating effectively, you can:
- Work faster and more cost effectively
- Improve team building and morale
- Improve communication
- Develop cross-disciplinary skills
- Gain cross-disciplinary insight
- Get more perspectives
- Get team and stakeholder buy in
- Improve innovation