Charles Lee is the CEO of Ideation, a consultancy that specializes in branding, marketing, design, web, social media, and event development. He is also a founding member of JustOne, a NPO committed to addressing issues of poverty, orphans, and slavery. In addition, Charles leads New Hope, a faith community in the Los Angeles area, and is the creator of grassroots efforts including the Idea Camp, Ideation Conference, and the Freeze Project. Charles regularly speaks around the country on topics such as creativity, innovation, leadership, social media, community development and compassionate justice.
3 Myths About Collaboration
There’s no doubt that individuals, organizations, and companies around the world are collaborating more than ever. With the growth of accessibility to technology, transportation, and networks, it has become increasingly commonplace to see people move as a collective tribe. Collaboration is no longer just a nice option for an entity, but it has become a necessity.
Along with this movement towards working together, there has been a rise in common misunderstandings about how collaboration actually works. The following are 3 common myths that I hear regularly about collaboration:
Myth #1: Collaboration Just Happens
This is the belief that collaborative efforts are the result of spontaneous relationships that come together at the right time. Although there is some truth to the fact that relationships do undergird many collaborative efforts, the reality is that these relationships need intentional building towards a common goal. A desire to work together should never be confused with actual work. Collaboration takes initiation, direction, time, clarity of expectations, resources, and an implementable plan.
Myth #2: Collaboration Lightens the Load
This view says that collaboration will lighten the workload in the same kind of way as delegation. Unfortunately, this is usually not the case. Collaboration may rearrange responsibilities and areas of focus, but it doesn’t necessarily lighten the amount of work. The beauty of collaboration is that it allows us to focus time and energy on our strengths while leaning more upon the specialty of others in their respective fields of expertise. It doesn’t necessarily take away the quantity of work we need to accomplish a project. In fact, it will probably lead to more hours of work since we will find ourselves in areas of passion.
Myth #3: Collaboration’s Primary Tool is Social Networking
This perspective promotes the idea that social networking is the primary vehicle through which two individuals or groups can collaborate. Although I am a big fan of social networking, most collaborative efforts beyond event promotions, writing projects, and information sharing require significant invest of time in other tools and platforms including face-to-face time. Social networking can supplement collaborative projects, but it is insufficient to provide all that is needed to work productively with others.
Collaboration is a source of great energy, inspiration, and productivity. In the process of working together, may we never lose sight of the actual work it will require of us all. Collaboration will me more enjoyable if we go in with realistic expectation.