What collaboration is and is not – it is a habit and not a rare species

collaboration what it is and is not

Collaboration is way of working with others with shared understanding to achieve mutual goals. Sometimes collaboration goes outside of our comfort zone to accomplish goals. It is critical to understand it to be more effective at it.

Collaboration helps us solve big problems this is a known fact but unfortunately we get confused sometimes and we get lost in a rigmarole of ‘thinking about its inefficiency’, we feel to it is ‘too risky’ to get out of comfort zone.

We might also have our concerns on the ‘unconscious’ signals we are sending to others on our over zealousness and sometimes we are afraid that our image and our relevance might take a beating.

Under such circumstances, it is essential that we clarify ourselves what collaboration is and is not.

It seeks to lay rest to our concerns and when the value of collaboration is clear, we will willingly seek out value added cross- functional projects to contribute and develop the necessary skills to effectively collaborate.

Here are some pointers to help us navigate the difficult waters.

What it is not

Knowing ‘what it is not’ helps us to come out our comfort zone fast. Knowing that we are not alone and there are others in the same boat as ourselves, helps us psychologically.

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How Becoming a Business Tutor Helped Me Collaborate with Some of the Top Business Talents in My Area

study and being a business tutor

When I first heard about business tutoring – I wasn’t fully aware of how beneficial it could be for my business.

I’d been quite successful in my area, and I wanted to give something back to those just starting out in the industry – so I was willing to volunteer some of my time to a few local business learning hubs and enterprise networks But I thought it was just going to be a one-way street. I was wrong.

My initial idea was that I was going to help out with a few up-and-coming entrepreneurs and that would be that. I didn’t realize becoming a business tutor could actually help my business. In reality, the process wasn’t just about sharing my knowledge with others – it actually helped me learn, and gave me a number of unique ways to collaborate and draw on a range of different skill sets.

How my collaborative efforts improved with the new network of talent I had access to

Because I was now working with a lot of motivated, inspired young-business people – the opportunities I had to collaborate on different projects skyrocketed. I was now drawing on a wide-range of talents and ideas – some of which I could use in my own business.

I was tutoring different people with different skills – and more than just sharing my knowledge with them, they were sharing theirs with mine. Not only did I collaborate with them to help on a few of their ideas and projects – but they actually helped me with mine. It was now a two-way learning street.

Local private tuition companies like Smile Tutor offer these collaborative opportunities in the Singapore area.

How becoming a tutor helped me learn new ways of doing business

I might have been the senior businessperson – but that doesn’t mean I didn’t have things I could learn. Through our collaboration, I knew that some of my ideas were stuck in the past. I got some great new ideas that I could implement in my business.

I was actually tutoring someone who ran an online business and was very interested in social media. It was at a time when social media was just taking off, but I’d been so busy I’d sort of neglected getting involved.

He needed some help with more traditional aspects of his business, so we worked together so I could set him straight. While collaborating helped him immensely – it also helped me. I saw how powerful social media could be in promoting a new business (especially on a budget). It was so effective, I implemented it in my business and started seeing positive results. Through our collaboration – we both learned something to improve our skill set.

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On creative project ideas and bedtime stories – Nurturing creativity and cultivating it

nurturing creative project ideas at an young age

It was a busy day. As I drove down the road during one of those errand trips, I heard the local radio channel go boom with this question, ‘Did Stephen King narrate bedtime horror stories to his children?’ The radio jockey further asks the reasons for our ‘yes’ or ‘no’. I sat bewildered. Stephen King is a very popular and celebrated author who is known for his work on horror stories, fantasy, and science fiction. I did not know the answer nor  I could  say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the question.

I thought about it the next day. It hit me as a father. I had narrated hundreds and hundreds of bedtime stories to my kid daughter. My daughter is quite demanding at that.

Many times, I had run out of stories. Sometimes I concoct and make it up and sometimes my kid daughter insists that I retell the stories. I later found out that each time you repeat the story, kids start seeing it in a new angle. They reinterpret the stories and the characters.

Each time they hear, they see a new meaning in it and their imagination has no bounds. It lays the seed of creativity in them. What happens without saying is that you are effectively collaborating with your kids for their development and it is fulfilling for you as well.

I later researched and found out that, two of Stephen King’s children have become authors.

Creativity is something that we need to nourish it from a very young age.

You can read more on generating creative project ideas from out blog post, 24 simple approaches for generating new ideas in the workplace

The below presentation slides summarize it.

Even within an organization, nourishing creativity and cultivating it is a skill. We are all waiting for the next big idea and a potential break through. We cannot afford to look at it as counterproductive to productivity and control.

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Scientific collaboration wins the 2017 Nobel peace prize for Physics

integration-scientific collaboration

The 2017 Nobel peace prize for Physics was awarded to 3 scientists in the United states.  Rainer Weiss from MIT and Kip Thorne and Barry Barish both from Caltech won the prize for their scientific discovery of ripples in space-time known as gravitational waves.

This discovery validated Einstein’s theory of relativity ( E=MC2     expresses that mass and energy are the same physical entity and can be interchanged).

The theory of relativity suggested that matter and energy would warp the very structure of space-time. The warp would happen in the same way an ‘air pillow’ sags when an infant rests its head on it while asleep.  Interesting.

Black hole - ripples of waves
Black hole – ripples of waves

This phenomenon would stretch space-time, expand and collapse it forming black holes making it so dense that even light cannot escape it. The motion of these black holes as the universe expands in space-time would send ripples of gravitational waves into space.

What was more interesting for me was the question in Newyork times “Why did they win?”  Well the question “How did they win?”  Would be much more interesting sans the ‘Astrophysics’ part.

Well the scientists were the ‘brain child’ behind the organization called LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational –wave Observatory).  In fact, LIGO was also the scientific instrument for the detection gravitational waves.

LIGO was a scientific collaborative organization comprising of a thousand researchers from around the globe who analyzed data, designed materials, and co-authored hundreds of scientific papers on the research area.

IndiGO is the consortium of Indian gravitational physicists. IndiGO is the Indian partner to the LIGO laboratory in USA for planning and setting up the LIGO-India project.

The LIGO laboratory has scientific collaboration with its other advanced LIGO partners in UK, Germany and Australia and also with the US National science foundation.  Together they provide hardware and designs for setting up the Indian operations of LIGO.

Current trends in scientific collaboration

Most of us have a scientific temper.  We are so curious at times that we keep watching television channels for interesting science stories and snippets.   It is not for the reason that they would affect our immediate lives but somehow we are glued.

You will surprised to know according to a research report from Physics org. the number of multiple author science papers have been doubled internationally from 1990 to 2015.  It has grown from 10 % to 25%. Moreover, 58 more countries have participated in scientific research contribution since then.

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How Office Environment Influences Productivity and Collaboration

Office environment

A certain portion of productivity and collaboration comes from within the stellar team members you hire for the job. If you have budding, innovative minds who are eager to work together to move mountains for your business, you’ve already won half the battle. The only thing you should be concerned about is whether or not their office environment is actually stifling their abilities. After all, if you put an astronaut in a lawyer’s seat, would she know what she was doing?

If you want to make the most out of your workplace talent, you need to set the proper stage they’ll need to perform. A few small changes can make a world of difference in enhancing everyone’s ability to work to the fullest extent.

Space to Move

Your employees might spend a significant amount of time sitting around their computers, or even emailing each other. When they’re doing this, the need to have enough space to set up and work on what they’re working on. It’s hard to get much done when you’re bumping elbows with your coworker every time you try to hit “send.”

Even strictly virtual work requires more space than most people may realize. Some work requires a bubble of silence to concentrate on, and when employees can’t get that, they wind up sending out messages full of typos and incomplete thoughts. If everyone is too close together, it might be time to check out Gumtree for a larger office building. Growth tends to happen quicker than we may think, and you might have packed too many people into a small space.

Different Zones

Coming together is just as important as working separately. The whole group needs to be able to sit at the same table in order to discuss and plan an upcoming project. Some of that work is meant to be done within the group, but other small tasks may require privacy. If everyone else needs to be quiet so one person can make a phone call, this is a sign that you don’t have enough designated zones for specific kinds of work.

Make sure you have enough quiet places where your team members can make phone calls or sit down with clients to go over personal information. Attempting to do these things in a team setting is overwhelming, and not much will get done. Everyone needs a little corner to handle these quiet tasks before they can come back and share what they’ve learned with the group.

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