When I first read Getting to "we" in the April 2008 Communications of the ACM, I really liked two things about the article:
- The 4 categories of Information sharing, Coordination, Cooperation, and Collaboration, with technology examples for each. Good framework: I will throw those terms around more carefully now.
- The mention of whole system change methods like Appreciative inquiry and Charrettes to get to collaboration. The Change Handbook includes a lot more methods. Over the past 2 years, I have found the Nexus for Change conference a great way to learn more about these methods.
(You can download the article from ACM above. It is also available at The Profession of IT series from Peter J. Denning.)
A few other folks thought this article was also worth mentioning:
- Thomas Vander Wal points out that "most of the tools and services...do not even come close" to what we need for collaboration.
- Jack Vinson expands on "collaboration and community" and ties in another CACM article about social ties.
- Mark Lindsey summarizes the punchline of the article: "collaboration comes by failure of other plans".
Weeks later after first reading it, I am still finding it useful (I have gone back to it several times lately), so I decided to mention it here. This article is another nice data point on the "IT systems" meets "social change" landscape for me.