With all the collaboration technology solutions out there, collaboration should be easy, right? We can instant message with Slack. We can share documents with Google Drive or SharePoint. We can assign task or collaborate with Asana. You can pick your favorite tools and replace the names in the prior paragraph with lots of different solutions. With all this technology out there, why isn’t collaboration easy?
Here’s a secret – if collaboration was easy, there wouldn’t be as many technology solutions. The existence of solutions means that there are problems to be solved. In some cases, these problems are soluble, or at least mitigated, by technology. In other cases, not so much. Collaboration is one of these problems.
In addition to the seemingly endless tech solutions, there’s also plenty of advice. Google yields thousands of articles. There are over 10,000 book titles listed on Amazon about collaboration. There are collaboration consultants. You’re not without places to find information.
With all those resources, why is collaboration so hard?
Simply put, collaboration is hard for the very reason that collaboration can yield great results – diversity. Successful collaborative projects bring together the best ideas from a variety of perspectives to create something that is greater than the sum of its parts. But getting to that place can be a lot of work, because of the words “variety of perspectives.”
Perspectives come from a few different places. Experiences create perspectives. Education creates perspectives. The acquisition of a skill creates perspectives. All of these perspectives are colored by personality.
It’s not hard to find personality assessments, either. If you’ve been in business for any length of time, you’ve probably taken a few of them – DISC, Myers-Briggs, StrengthsFinder, Kolbe, TalentDNA, and a variety of other assessments used for testing your hireability and how you work with others.
What none of these address is collaboration. Of course, every assessment will tell you something about yourself, and a little thought will help you understand how you relate to others.
This Wednesday at 2pm Eastern, Alan Schaefer from Banding People Together will bring a different perspective. Alan is literally a rock star. He’s played in 17 countries as frontman for Five Star Iris, entertained US service people all over the world, and won the rock category for the UK songwriting competition. He’ll also tell you that he sucked as a bandmate. Banding People Together was formed to help change that for his team, and for others.
Think about this: bands are always trying to create hit records. Businesses are trying to create the equivalent. Both require multiple players, and there are reasons that sucks. Some folks want to be soloists, others don’t feel rhythm the same way, and others are just loud. None of us are really taught to collaborate effectively – we’re just thrown into group projects and told to figure it out. It’s just collaborative insanity.
It’s time to end that. Alan brings a repeatable framework and strategy to make working together feel as good as the results. And dude, there are results.