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Information Collaboration

Back in 2003, as part of my work with BlueOxenAssociates, one of my more controversial assertions was that the most effective collaboration emerged out of anarchic processes. I wrote about it at the time in a blog posting entitled Anarchic Emergent Collaboration.

My belief at the time, and now, is that collaboration is not something that can be imposed from without. If an external authority attempts to make a group collaborate what that authority will get is a group of people working, because they have to, at their own interpretation of goals, not a shared goal. Without a true shared goal, there can be no collaboration.

A group that establishes their own shared goal can't help but collaborate. People form shared goals after they have reached a shared understanding of their context. What's needed to understand context? Information.

Thus if an organization wants a group to collaborate (and thus be more effective) the best thing the organization can do is provide the group with information, excessive information, all the information. From that the group can gain a true understanding of the context and form a shared goal.

As information is power then the road to effective groups is for them to be informed, to be empowered.

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