12 Steps to a Life of Extraordinary Collaboration

Ben Ziegler, a mediator, collaboration consultant and owner of Collaborative Journeys shares an excerpt with us from his blog post “12 Steps to a Life of Extraordinary Collaboration,” posted on March 21, 2012:

“There is no shortage of big problems facing us today; in our communities, cities, globally! These problems are complex. There are many parts to the problem, and how all the parts connect together can be a mystery. What the solution is, another mystery.

What to do?

Collaborate. (You knew I’d say that, right?) And, the bigger the problem, the bigger the collaboration effort needed. It takes a system to change a system. Forget the KISS principle.

And, as the scale of collaboration ramps up, we need to involve people with collaboration skills that match the context. Massive collaboration calls for people with massive collaboration skills; extraordinary skills that go way beyond the ordinary.

I got to thinking about extraordinary collaboration, on reading Jane McGonigal’s book, Reality is Broken, in which she explores the positive potential of games and virtual collaboration. I tip my hat to my creative conflict resolution colleague, Stephanie West Allen (@idealawg on Twitter, blogs at Brains on Purpose), for pointing me to Jane’s work.

12 Steps

What are the personal skills associated with extraordinary collaboration? How about these:

  1. Believe in collaboration; in creating something new, that would be impossible to create alone. Collaboration is a “generative act”.
  2. Learn collaboration; think and act collaboratively. (Collaborative Maxims can be your guide)
  3. Get social, in a networked environment; we are all connected, “be an extrovert in the virtual world”, it’s a godsend of opportunity. It doesn’t matter if you’re an introvert in face-to-face settings.
  4. Make connections, of all sorts; making connections is at the heart of bridging differences, creating the new, innovation…
  5. Develop your internal “collaboration radar”; ask yourself – who will make “the best collaborators on this particular task or mission”?”

Click here to read the seven other steps…

-Guest Blogger: Ben Ziegler,
Mediator and Collaboration Consultant,
Collaborative Journeys

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