All of the best collaborations I have been a part of have started off with a lot of questions. Not “how do we get it done” questions, but rather questions that yearn for something more, questions that require you to truly envision something that has never existed before and then breathing it into being. Perhaps that is a little bit high minded for the type of collaboration I would like to do today, but I don’t think so.
I think that we can start with questioning the very nature of collaboration, the ways in which we communicate and come together. I believe that we can challenge the format and flow of our information. And in the process, I believe that we can create an instant and always-on type of collaboration that has never existed, until we all decide that it is worth building.
So, what are the questions that we would like to answer today? Well, I have a few to start:
- What types of collaboration would you like to have at your fingertips by simply clicking once with your mouse (without first having to build a personal learning network for a few months)? (Instant)
- What types of collaboration do you miss out on because they are not in your workflow (or you simply don’t have time)? (Instant and Always-on)
- How do you create long lasting collaborations (or at least ones that outlast your involvement with them)? (Always-on)
- How does the format and timeliness of information change the possibilities of collaboration? (Instant)
- How do you get information, people, and resources to come to you? (Always-on)
In answering these questions and many others that you have come up with, I think we will come to an understanding of the nature of instant and always-on collaboration. In the hopes that we have something to grab ahold of in this discussion, I have outlined what I believe are the tenants of getting collaboration to be as simple as an on-button:
(All of these tenants assume one thing: All collaboration is made up of single acts that are held within a single space and a single time. Together these acts of collaboration make up the process of connecting with others, discussing ideas, and creating something new.)
1. All Logins that can be eliminated, should be.
2. Everything that can be aggregated, should be.
3. Everything that can be archived and tagged, should be.
4. No new online space (blog, wiki, portal, etc.) should be created that cannot leverage existing spaces.
5. Workflow is king. Any space that doesn’t play well with the tools that people already use, is worthless.
6. Quiet the incessant chatter of the web. Focus only on conversation and voices that matter.
7. All spaces must include specific information for specific stakeholders.
8. All spaces must be able to accommodate an infinite number of stakeholders.
9. Action should be inevitable, and membership should be impossible.
10. You should be obsolete in your space immediately.