July 25, 2007

Collaboration is Hard, Part I

Collaboration is Hard, Part I Every year when we do 360 reviews, a whole bunch of people at all levels in the organization have “collaboration” identified as a development item.  I’ve been thinking a lot about this topic lately and will do a two-part post on this.  So, first things first…what is collaboration and why is it so important? Let’s start with the definition of collaboration from our friends at Wikipedia: Collaboration is a process defined by the recursive interaction of knowledge and mutual learning between two or more people who are working together, in an intellectual endeavor, toward a common goal which is typically creative in nature. Collaboration does not necessarily require leadership and can even bring better results through decentralization and egalitarianism. What does that mean in a business setting?  It means partnering with a colleague (either inside or outside of the company) on a project, and through the partnering, sharing knowledge that produces a better outcome than either party could produce on his or her own.  Interestingly, the last sentence of the definition implies that collaboration can happen across levels in an organization but is generally more effective when the parties who are collaborating are on somewhat […]


July 31, 2006

Social Computing: An Amusing Anecdote About Who is Participating

Social Computing:  An Amusing Anecdote About Who is Participating We learned something about Wikipedia tonight.  Mariquita was reading an article on Castro on CNN.com entitled “Castro Blames Stress on Surgery” about his upcoming intestinal surgery. [Quick detour — I’m sorry, Castro blames the surgery on stress?  Isn’t it good to be the king?   And he’s handing  the reins of government over to his oh-so-younger brother Raul, at the tender young age of 75?] Anyway, we were debating over whether Castro took over the government of Cuba in 1957 or 1959, so of course we turned to Wikipedia.  Ok, so Mariquita […]


January 10, 2006

New Media Deal, Part II – the We Media Deal

New Media Deal, Part II – the We Media Deal My original New Medial Deal posting from August, 2004, is my favorite posting of all 220 or so that I’ve done to date. It has the most clicks of any posting I’ve done. People mention it to me all the time. I even used it as the foundation for the preface to our book at Return Path, Sign Me Up! The general thesis (although the original posting is short and worth reading) is simple. Old Media was one-way communication – they produce it, you consume it, and Old Media had […]


November 8, 2005

Armistice Day

Armistice Day Back in May, writing about Decoration Day, I promised an exciting conclusion to the “forgotten past names of minor American holidays” series this week.  I’m on vacation the rest of the week, so I’ll post today about Friday’s holiday, what we now call Veterans Day but what Grandma Hazel still periodically calls Armistice Day.  Once again, Wikipedia to the rescue. Armistice Day is the anniversary of the official end of World War I, November 11, 1918. It commemorates the armistice signed between the Allies and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front, […]


May 30, 2005

Decoration Day

Decoration Day Today, Memorial Day, is the day my Grandma Hazel always calls Decoration Day.  That’s obviously a name that pre-dates me, so I thought I’d look it up today and figure out what it originally stood for and when the switch happened. According to Wikipedia, the holiday originally called Decoration Day was first observed in 1868 to honor fallen Union solidiers of the Civil War.  As you can imagine, southern states didn’t really recognize the holiday until at least 50 years later, and many continue even today to have a separate Confederate Decoration Day (now Confederate Memorial Day or […]