Tuesday 19 May 2009

New Book: 42 Rules for Successful Collaboration

David Coleman came up with the idea. The idea was as simple as it was beautiful: There is a lack of practical guidelines on collaboration. Wheres a number of recently published books cover the theoretical foundations of collaboration, none of these books offer crisp and easy-to-understand guidelines on precisely what to do and how to handle specific collaborative situations. Let's close this gap by offering a book that does exactly this!

KC liked the idea of such a book and has, as one of 26 contributors besides Mr. Coleman, contributed rule #21: "Collaboration Requires Management and Leadership".

Excerpt from rule #21: If employees represent 80 percent of the cost of a knowledge-intensive organization and these employees spend 70–80 percent on different types of collaborative activities, this should be the focus of attention for business executives.
The motivation for this rule is the observation that most companies tend to address collaboration in a fragmented, ad hoc manner, despite the fact that many professionals today spend most of their time on collaborative activities. The rule has been written to help companies understand why they should approach collaboration more systematically.

Each rule is clear and presented in a stand-alone, two-page format. Bring the book to meetings and - when the meeting starts late (not yours, of course!) because the meeting host has not read the book, you have already worked your way through two or three rules. Compared to many books and even white papers, these rules are ripe, low-hanging fruit ready to be picked.

Mr. Coleman provides a holistic view on collaboration, and through a variety of contributions from his social networks, others have contributed their best rules for collaboration based on their experience. The book takes a holistic view that covers the three areas people, process and technology, and this is also used as the organizing principle for the book. Each rule can be found in the appropriate section.

Most of the rules are good, and many are outstanding and can really make a difference. It is challenging to pick favorites, but here are a few examples of rules that resonate particularly well in my mind, as these rules articulate simple rules that addresses important issues from an interesting perspective:
  • Rule #2 - "Know Why You Are Collaborating"
  • Rule #4 - "You Will Include All of Your Stakeholders"
  • Rule #15 - "Make Someone Responsible for Collaboration"
  • Rule #20 - "Know the Objective Before Defining the Tools"
The book is available as a paperback and as an eBook (downloadable PDF). For those that are interested, the book can be purchased from HappyAbout, or via this direct link:

:: Purchase 42 Rules for Successful Collaboration ::

Commission note: Kristensen Consulting takes pride in transparency. As a contributor to the book, KC receives a 30 % commission when using the link above, or by clicking on the book image at the top of this post (15 % from 2010). If you don't like the idea of this, the quality of the book is equally good when purchased from HappyAbout without using the link above (in this case there is no commission).

Happy reading - and learning!

No comments: