Tokoloshes With Tambourines #Collaboration

Tokoloshes With Tambourines #Collaboration

Collaboration is hard!

Bad collaboration plays the tunes of a pipe that leads followers to the edge of a cliff. Somehow people collaborate on the unnecessary. How do Tokoloshes make the newspapers headlines before an up-and-coming songwriter who’s getting international acclaim? How do we have front page newspaper articles that talk about political fights, rapists, sex scandals and other ridiculous pieces of life?

Daily delivered right on their doorsteps, people complain that the media is riddled with meaningless subjects. But in the lounges, their feet are up and they’re reading it! They just bought, funded and collaborated with something that's not worth it. Collaboration on the negative is easier.

This Huffington Post article says that we lap up negativity. Humans were designed to be keenly aware of negative circumstances and consequences as it helped our ancestors survive.

One of the pillars of Emerging Ideas is to create #collaborativeBrilliance. To have people put down their individual ideals, leave their rooms of isolation, and plug into someone else's brilliance that, in turn, can create something better. BUT...

Collaboration for the good of all human kind seems to be more difficult. It's straight up hard. I was once part of a high-level "young executive group" that tried to do things together. It was atrocious. All the ideas were good! Most of the agendas seemed sweet, but to collaborate and get in each other's worlds was more difficult than climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Here's what we've found has to be navigated when collaborating to do something good:

  • Beware of egos. Many smart people are ego people. If egos get in the way of progress, you can be assured that the wrong people are on your collaboration team.
  • When you want to do something good there's good credit involved. So in the wrong group, there'll be credit hoarders. More gets done when no one cares about who gets the credit. Get rid of the credit hoarders. It'll stink up the room.
  • Collaboration needs clear structure and it needs to be written down. Humanity has strong feelings that, if crossed, you can see a grown man completely flip out. Or best friends sue each other. Collaboration has to be clear. Clarity is super key.
  • Collaboration needs borders against negativity. Clearly spell out how you're going to play in the sandbox together. If you're the kid who keeps tearing down everyone's sand castle, you won't be allowed to play for very long.
  • Communication is important. If you don't respond to the team's set communications (email, whatsapp group, twitter hashtag, etc), then you'll get left behind and your team will be wondering who's box you're busy playing in. Collaboration and communication go hand in hand.

Collaboration can be hard at first. But it’s worth it. And once your team gets rolling, you can accomplish great things together.


(photo via ako'y isang)