Mark R Lindsey

Review of "Getting to ‘We’", CACM April 2008

In Uncategorized on April 21, 2008 at 6:29 pm

Denning and Yaholkovsky wrote a typical not-very-technical CACM article. But it has some interest:

Hierarchy of Working Together. They make these distinctions:

— Information Sharing (blog, chat, file servers)

— Coordination: “regulating elements and players for harmonious action” (internet protocols, auction systems)

— Cooperation: “playing together under the same…rules (including…competition)” (wiki, multiplayer games)

— Collaboration: “creating solutions…through…synergistic interactions” (Appreciative Inquiry, Brainstorming)

Blegh: “synergistic”. Is this biology, or just vague busineeze?

In one trial, students were made to work together on a “wicked problem” involving the environment and security. Their first solution was to “delegate up” to an “infrastructure czar” with some authoritarian power. The teacher rejected this plan, and made students try again.

In the second try, they proposed a competition system, involving referenda, debates, campaigning, and voting. This too was rejected.

Finally the students “collaborated”, and developed plans that accounted for concerns of several parties. Punchline: collaboration comes by failure of other plans.

Collboration sequence:

1 Declare the question or issue.

2 Connect: members get together, and explain concerns.

3 Listen to each other.

4 Develop a “we”; i.e. Take ownership of each other's concerns to find answers to all concerns.

5 Create proposals.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: