The theme of collaboration – Some ideas for articles

I was recently asked to help identifying some key articles, scenarios and technologies that we could highlight in an upcoming magazine on collaboration. As a framework we are looking at collaboration between individuals, between organisations, between organisations and individuals and between teams across a ‘lifecycle’ of innovation from idea generation through to delivering the desired outcome (whether or not the outcome is intended to be profit making or not).

Luckily its an area I’m very interested in and here were my initial, had 5 mins to think about it, ideas:

  • Socialising Innovation. Facebook, iGoogle, Linked In etc… are drastically changing the ways in which we manage our connections, leverage our networks and share our ideas and information. For example on Linked In users can now ask their ‘network’ a question and many of these questions/seeds are evolving and bringing people together. The questioner gains fast and cheap insights from ‘vetted’ users who he she/trusts in their ‘network’. So… How can we apply these benefits within an organisation?
  • Measuring/Ranking Collaboration. Yahoo Answers rewards collaboration by giving you ‘points’ the more you collaborate, and even more points if you prove the ‘best’ answer. In business this approach could be another way to encourage more and more ‘Mini TL Contributions’. There are also some VERY clever weighting algorithms that automatically measure the quantity AND the ‘perceived’ quality of a persons contribution and ensures their contributions bubble up to the top. I cannot remember the example website at the moment but its partially based upon the theory of how an Ant Colony collaborates and shares information.
  • The Tipping Point of Collaboration. The importance of collaborating with the RIGHT people (Mavens) is critical. Who are these Mavens, How do you find them, Why are they so important. (Read the Tipping Point – Great book). Why does a collaborative effort suddenly ‘tip’ and take off??
  • The Psychology of Collaboration. Successful Collaboration needs to recognise and engage members of the various BELBIN (or Myers Biggs) personality groupings (i.e. Shapers, Finishers, Plant  etc…) in order to ensure richer collaboration that delivers.
  • Facilitating Collaboration pays $$$. Nike now allows customers to specify designs and text on their footwear -and then charge a premium for the service. Wikipedia benefits from free labour and all they did was facilitate the collaboration by providing some simple tools. Gmail gives us 2GB of free storage but by analysing our communications gains key advertising insight into its users.
  • Strategy on how to calcualte ROI on investing in collaboration tools & technology.
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