Sharing and Collaboration

The following is a guest post written for Kingbridge Conference Centre by Ryan Jaques.

As some of you may know, today is the first ever Global Sharing Day – a day dedicated to promoting and participating in the sharing economy. Sharing plays a pivotal role in most parts of collaboration, because in one way or another, it is how we connect with our fellow collaborators.

Stories and Dreams

It starts by sharing your story or your dream. You have some goal you want to accomplish, but all you have right now is that goal, that idea. So you start sharing that idea or that story with a few friends, and maybe they get on board. Then maybe your friends start telling their friends, and their friends. Maybe you get into social media and start sharing your story with the whole rest of the world. Maybe it turns into a global movement because it turns out that dream you shared with a few friends is shared by more than just your few friends. Sharing your dream with your team mates can help them understand why you’re doing what you’re doing, and having a common goal is invaluable for keeping a team working together.

If you want to see the power of sharing your dreams, take a look at the meteoric rise of the “Movember” movement in the last 10 years (bottom of the linked page) – from 30 members in it’s first year to almost a million world-wide.

Ideas and Plans

Chances are, your story or your dream is built on “Why?”, not “How?”. Most likely, the plan is to “create a global movement”, not to “create a movement by ________”. This is a good thing, though: if Simon Sinek tells us anything, it’s that people buy on why. The downside is that “why” rarely leaves room for “how” and “creating a global movement” isn’t really an action plan. All those friends you shared your goal with though, they have lots of ideas, and  now they’re committed to the cause because they share your goal. When you have a team of people sharing their ideas for how to make your shared dream a reality, it’s a lot easier to go out and make it happen.

Resources and Expertise

The sharing of resources is the single greatest benefit of collaboration. It’s amazing what people have to offer when they’re given a chance to share, both resources and responsibilities. What I mean by that is, many problems are too complex to be solved by one “expert” – bits and pieces of the problem pull them outside of their expertise into a field of guess work. In this field, they are ineffective and not only that, they become ineffective as experts because they can’t focus. If there was a “bits and pieces” expert who knew exactly how to deal with those remainders, what a perfect partnership. Narrow expertise will still have its place, and not only that, each expert now has the time to dedicate their full attention to their section of the problem. Each person taking on their respective piece of the puzzle makes it easier for everyone else to do the same, breaking a complex problem into bite-sized brain teasers.

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