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Entries in collaboration (7)


How to maintain business passion

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Your great idea and the three stages of love

You have a brilliant idea. Your boss will love it and you can already see your career growing on the back of it. Or maybe it’s an inspired concept for a new start-up. It’s the one that will launch your entrepreneurial dream.

This is love at first sight. You speak about it in those terms. It’s an expression of you; an extension of yourself. This perfect mate will help you manifest your real desires by creating something special.

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Why you need to collaborate

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It’s not just good for everyone else

Collaboration gets a lot of traction in management commentary. Wherever your look, we are encouraged to form alliances. Even Harvard Business Review recently devoted an entire issue to it. Everyone, it seems, wants to work together.

Teamwork, as collaboration was once known, has always been a key to success. What has shifted is the preparedness for greater collaboration across traditional boundaries.

Diversity has been acknowledged – not for its political correctness but for the fact that cross-fertilization of opinion and perspective leads to more robust decisions.

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Buzz words: wake-up calls for our natural instincts

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Plus ca change

Why do some buzz words embed themselves in our vocabulary while others slide past the window with just a short burst of fame? Some take a long time to leave. Let’s hope “paradigm shift” and “no-brainer” are nearing the end of their useful life. 

Words that get traction align with our natural instincts. Fashionable buzz words are not new ideas. They get traction because they embrace the things we instinctively do best. 

Instincts are there to preserve and propagate the species. One is to form communities because, collectively, we have a better chance at survival and prosperity. No surprises that “collaboration” has got traction.

Ditto our ability to organize. The desire for food has fashioned agriculture. We no longer just kill things; we also grow them. We embrace agriculture because it underwrites our future. We instinctively know that “sustainability” is good.

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To innovate, collaborate.

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Using the CASA Principle 

In 2010, Linus Benedict Torvalds was listed as one of the 100 most influential inventors of all time. What did Linus Torvalds do? He posted a message on an online noticeboard in 1991. He said he was building a free operating system and wanted some help.

The result was Linux. It revolutionized the open source software movement. Today it is everywhere. Torvalds was 22 years old at the time.

Linux didn’t grow in a straight line. It grew in fits and starts; in bits and pieces; with thousands of collaborators. The core driver was this: they shared a common interest and a common goal. If you want change, that’s what you need.

Why would you want change?

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Working with others

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Appraise what’s going right, not wrong

Performance appraisal does not have a great record. Studies show it can curb performance rather than enhance it. Control groups free of such practices regularly outperform those subjected to it. There can be fear around it for the employee. The person charged with carrying it out is often untrained and finds it little more than a time-consuming irritation.

So, should you do it? 

If you feel any of the above, and have no training it, the answer is probably no. Handled badly, it can work against relationships rather than enhance them. There is an unfortunate tendency to focus only on history and what is going wrong.

The opposite view is this

Take a positive approach to the issue. Drop the word appraisal and take a mirror image of classic techniques. Reverse the ingrained emotions you have around the process and focus on personal development rather than performance appraisal. Look at how to go forward.

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