Monday, November 30, 2009

Collaboration and Contribution

While Google Wave is opening more and more some people still struggle with what it is for. The main reason is that collaboration isn't quite common and often misunderstood.
I just had the case when someone was think that collaboration means everyone is allowed to do everything (or even nothing). That might be a nice view in some political systems (end even there are different pigs as we learned), but actually collaboration means working together to build something. It comes from the latin word of labor, which means work. You create something together. Thats why collaboration and contribution is kind of tied together. Without contribution there is no collaboration.

So what is contribution? Let's say you want to build a house together and you ask your friends to help. You need an architect, someone who knows what kind of material you need and how to get it and then you need people to put brick on brick. The goal is to have a nice house. It's not how much someone contributed, it's about the quality of contribution. You would not see a lot of help if someone is always saying that he did it different or even better. You would like him to do better with your house, make a better design or mix the cement better or whatever.

That's why people who see Google Wave as a chat fail. That's why people who see a volunteer project as a chat fail. That's why you fail in your company when you not raise your hand when tasks need to be assigened. It's not just giving your opinion. It's about taking action.

1 comment:

Coach said...

Great post. Collaboration is a new concept in Viet Nam, working independent and trying to look better than the other person has led to a lack of co-operation and contribution in Viet Nam. The new generation are better at it however we have a long way to go. I believe for a company, a country, a family, a community to become effective and reach it's full potential it needs to collaborate. Thanks for a great post.