12:53 December 13, 2010
Collaboration is a way of life
A groundbreaking study by Frost & Sullivan: “Meetings Around the World: The Impact of Collaboration on Business Performance” had some startling revelations - the impact of collaboration is twice as significant as a company’s aggressiveness in pursuing new market opportunities and five times as significant as the external market environment.
No wonder, collaboration has emerged as a key driver of business performance across the world. For corporates the world over, it’s a key boardroom agenda….
In the Indian context, media reports are quick to highlight any news featuring collaboration across verticals. Consider this snapshot:
President Obama declares a host of policy agreements with the Indian Government
Boeing contemplates collaboration with ISRO
MIT to launch joint initiatives with the Indian School of Business
UK and Indian business leaders to explore Joint Venture opportunities
Australia and India to share expertise in sports coaching
Eros International and Warner Bros. announce key collaborations with Indian entities
But is collaboration a recent phenomenon? Certainly not…
Collaboration has been a way of life from time immemorial – from the mammoth nectar churning exercise that brought together arch rivals Devas and Asuras in a common mission to the success story in cricket by Dhoni’s enterprising brigade – it was the magic of collaboration that worked these wonders.
Cut to the time of the inventive sixties. The venue was the intellectually fertile complex of the Stanford Research Institute. A creative genius was burning the midnight oil on a one-of-a-kind mission.
This was the celebrated computer scientist Douglas Engelbart to whom we owe the indispensable collaborative tools that virtually rule our lives today -- from hypertext and user-friendly interfaces to the ubiquitous computer mouse.
Like his amazing inventions, his philosophy on the spirit of collaboration still rings true. He says
“Our very survival depends on our ability to work together more effectively, to get collectively smarter. Computers -- when used properly -- can help us do this.”
What applies to computers holds true for us – for what are we but the most amazing thinking machines in human form.
Whatever we do, our personal responsibilities towards a larger vision add measurable value only when they tread on the potent spiral of collaboration.
One of the undeniable facts of life is that we are all good, mediocre and found lacking - all at the same time. The sooner we acknowledge this fact, the earlier we move towards the larger goal, the bigger picture.
More than the co-creation and measurable value it brings about, Collaboration lends meaning to life. It adds a touch of selflessness to the mission without any overt attempt to bring it about.
Isn’t that the best part of collaboration? Undoubtedly…