The Collaboration Trap – The Wrong Way to Innovate | Senior Housing Forum: Two Big Collaboration Problems
Collaboration is a good way to solve well defined problems where there is already a set of possible solutions. It is a terrible way to innovate. There are two reasons why collaboration is an ineffective . . . even impossible path to innovation:
1. Unequal Power – Good collaborative efforts put considerable time and effort into making sure all stakeholders have a voice. The process may even include a framework that allows the minor stakeholders have a disproportionately strong voice. Yet for all of that, some participants will have much more influence than others. In some cases it is strength that comes from position and in other cases, it comes from having a strong charismatic or forceful personality.
2. Accommodation – The word collaboration suggests that everyone has a voice and every voice has value. This means that as solutions begin to emerge there is an innate tendency to make sure everyone has contributed to the solution. That each person can say about some part of the solution “That was my idea” or “my contribution.” This means that ultimately, the solution(s) will regress to the mean, in other words regress to something that accommodates everyone even if not optimal.
author: Steve Moran
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