Answers? I don’t even know the questions.

Just finished reading and reviewing a book about collaborative intelligence.

While it’ll come as a surprise to no one else, I’ve finally discovered I don’t have all the answers. In fact, I don’t know most of the questions. Blame my DNA for a bloody minded insistence on doing things solo (demographers will tell you us Gen Xers don’t play well with others and prefer working alone).

But I’ve discovered that someone else likely does the answer I’m looking for. Has already asked the question. And come up with a winning solution. The big idea. The missing link.

The key is to get connected. To be receptive to working together.

I’ve learned 3 things about collaboration:

  1. Most folks are more than willing to share what they know and work together. You just have to ask. And ask nicely and in a non-threatening way. Asking "what if?" works a whole lot better than "I need you to help me".
  2. And folks who aren’t collaborative (a mix of egos and stubbornness) gradually get themselves isolated. People will only offer to help so many times before they find another dance partner. And then that small issue that could of been resolved collaboratively becomes a big time crisis that gets out of control and no one wants to help.
  3. Everyone wants to be part of a winning solution. No one wants to get saddled with someone else’s problem.

Published by

Jay Robb

I've reviewed more than 500 business books for the Hamilton Spectator since 1999 and worked in public relations since 1993.

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