The Art of Collaboration Series

I am going to write a series of short posts to share my thoughts about collaboration and why it is so important in today's world.

According to Merriam-Webster's dictionary, to collaborate means: to work jointly with others or together especially in an intellectual endeavor.

The modern economy is mostly comprised of people working in an intellectual capacity to address societal needs and wants. The era of hard, raw labor is mostly over and intellectual driven jobs are in high demand. For example, Cesar Hidalgo, of the MIT Media Lab, recently wrote a blog post asking the Trump administration to invest in "software exports" from the U.S. to the world.

I argue that collaboration is the most important mechanism to advance prosperity in an information impregnated society, here's why:

  • Through collaboration, you gain access to people who complement your intellectual capacities;
  • Collaborating also exposes you to different lines of reasoning about your issues, letting you consider alternative approaches and thinking; and,
  • Working collaboratively with others automatically forces diversity of thought, because people who are complementary stand out and those who think alike are repelled by a sense of competition.

Thus, a team of collaborators is diverse and aligned by design, as each member shares a reasonably egalitarian stake in the outcome of the work. The key question everyone seems to be asking is how to create truly mutually beneficial collaborations?

This I will explore in the next post.