Is my collaboration your collaboration? Let’s talk


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I was reading a post a moment ago by @Marie_WallaceThe Social Business Struggle. This led me to another post by @hjarcheCollaboration is a Means Not an End. This led me down another path to another great post by @deb_lavoyCollaboration isn’t Working: What we Have Here is a Chasm. My head hurts, but I love this disruptive and serendipitous aspect of the internet. Where I start is not where I will finish. Links undermine, lead me to somewhere I hadn’t intended to go… I let you lead me astray, I know the game.


In the background I can hear the odd word from a Counting Crow’s song – A Long December, playing on guy1067?s faves! (via

…there’s reason to believe perhaps this year will be better than the last…days go by so fast…


Technology has changed everything. Paradigms are shifting. New or different lexicons emerging. The ‘old ways’ rubbing uncomfortably against the ‘new’…

We live in a time of cliches, appropriated words and platitudes, perhaps this is part of the journey towards ‘boring technology’. Perhaps we are simply waking up, recognising, believing that something better exists; better because we have more control over it, better because we have the authority to do something about it… in some ways, it’s still about all the old things we’ve always railed against, but it’s just different. We’re using them differently. We’re all using them, we all have access to them (or is that just another assumption). Life is full of unquestioned assumptions.

We use words such as – collaborate, co-operate, authenticity, trust, openness, sharing, transparency, democratisation, empowerment, connected and even hyper-connected… we use these words in juxtaposition to words such as power, command and control, silo, hoarding, authority, hierarchical… one is morphing into the other.

I talk about collaboration, and after reading Collaboration is a Means Not an End, I’m now thinking about co-operation, we can’t have one without the other. I need to think more about it. But I use these words, I have my own definition and interpretation of them. But when I talk with you, my connected friend and follower, I assume that the collaboration and trust and openness and hyper-connectedness that I talk about, is the same one that you are talking about. That when we collaborate, we are working towards the same end, the same shared goal.

But when I get to the end, I realise that I’ve made assumptions, that I’ve never told you my meaning of collaboration. Perhaps there’s a step before assuming co-operation comes before collaboration?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Guy Stephens
Guy is a social customer care trainer/consultant who has been in the social customer care space since 2008. He is also the Co-founder of Snak Academy, which provides online social customer care microlearning for individuals and SMEs.


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