After a four month hiatus, it’s time for the eighth edition of the Dudgington Post blog off. For those who have forgotten or are new to the blog off, my good friend Geoff and I each write a post on a single randomly selected topic (To name a few we’ve done in the past: security guards, entrepreneurship, snooze buttons and even zucchini blossoms.)
This time we’re talking about a topic I selected: collaboration, “a recursive process where two or more people or organizations work together toward an intersection of common goals,” according to Wikipedia (irony intended). Though I’ve always been a fan, in the last few months I’ve become a kind of evangelist for the concept. Here are some really fascinating bits and pieces collected on the power of collaboration. Of course, in the spirit of collaboration, leave a comment with your favorite example.
- The Collaboration Project: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what we can do together.” If you think Obama is the first breath of fresh air we’ve had in government in the last 8 years, you haven’t see this site. Launched last spring and powered by the National Academy of Public Administration, this wiki is an “independent forum of leaders committed to leveraging web 2.0 and the benefits of collaborative technology to solve government’s complex problems.” I am especially impressed by the site’s incredibly clear and concise case summaries that highlight business challenge, approach taken, results achieved, lessons learned and references. Examples of innovative initiatives include Wiser Earth, “a meeting ground for people wishing to “transform” the World,” and GovLoop.com, the premier social network connecting the government community. The site and examples are well worth digging into.
- Charles Leadbeater: The rise of the amateur professional: As you may know, I love TED talks. Author and professional creativity expert, Leadbeater remarks that “The payoffs to innovation are greatest when the uncertainty is highest.” He makes a solid argument for open source, claiming that sustaining consumer driven innovation is the only true competitive force against a monopoly, and that turning (or rather allowing) consumers to become producers multiplies resources - and therefore possibilities - by leaps and bounds. I can get behind that idea.
- SlideShare.net: “The world’s largest community for sharing presentations” is like YouTube for presentations and has an employee who calls himself the “Head Geek.” As someone who used PPT for client deliverables on a regular basis, I find this site incredibly helpful if for no other reason that to see what other people are doing. The only problem with the site is that good slide decks shouldn’t be understood without words (or rather bad slide decks are those that speak without a speaker) so is the site encouraging laziness in presentation skills? While adding voice is an option, my quick search found few with voice accompaniments. Nonetheless, here’s a great slide deck I found while perusing on How emotions work: Preference and action by a dashing Norwegian named Helge Tennø. Great quote from one slide, though there are a lot of great quotes in the PPT: “In the choice between changing one’s mind and proving there’s no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof.”
- The Collaboration Prize: On March 5, 2009, the founder and lone funder of this innovative idea, The Lodestar Foundation will award $250,000 to a “collaboration among two or more nonprofit organizations that each would otherwise provide the same or similar programs or services and compete for clients, financial resources and staff.” This Phoenix-based philanthropic organization rewards the idea of “identifying and adopting a mission that is not focused on any specific field of interest and focusing instead on leveraging resources…[that] can maximize the impact of helping others and thereby create a greater opportunity to achieve happiness.” Why I love this project: This is the essence of what inspired me to go to business school and what I aspire to do with my career. I can’t wait to see who wins.