Nov 142004

Complex Collaborations

Complex Collaborations

I just read a new book entitled Business Without Boundaries:  An Action Framework for Collaborating Across Time, Distance, Organization, and Culture.  I happen to know one of the authors, Don Mankin, who was on our trip to Antarctica last year.  The book is a good, quick read for anyone running an organization that requires any degree of complex collaboration, whether in the form of multiple offices with a single company, close relationships with suppliers or customers or channel partners, or even a joint venture.

Mankin and his co-author Susan Cohen present three case studies:  John Deere, Radica, and Solectron.  They then tie their learnings together into a solid framework that’s almost a how-to checklist for organization leaders to follow.  While the writers take an academic approach, the learnings and framework steps presented are anything but academic — they place a huge premium, for example, on relationship building and communication patterns.  These are all things we’ve worked through over the years at Return Path, whether managing employees across multiple offices  or in working with some of our reseller partners or clients.

All in, it’s a good read — and not just because I hung out with this guy in an igloo for two weeks!

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