Two types of collaboration

Some organisations are using collaboration as a performance measure. This makes sense, given the increased need for social skills in the workplace, but the word has negative connotations. The second dictionary definition is of treacherous cooperation with the enemy, usually applied to those who allied themselves with unpleasant regimes. Surprisingly this has some relevance to the modern workplace.

There are two types of collaborators in an organisation. The first works with anyone to achieve a better result for the business. The second selectively supports individuals or projects in the hope of personal gain. Typically a preferred consultant devises a ridiculous scheme to justify his, or her, commission then sycophantic managers rush around to implement it and the most successful is promoted. The initiative is either quietly abandoned or left for some underling to repair, without acknowledgment.

The second type of collaboration offers career, and financial, rewards but costs the respect of colleagues. Staff always know when someone is authentic, even if managers don’t. So, before you tick the collaboration box ask if you are driven by personal or business objectives.

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