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Posts Tagged ‘collaboration’

A Friction-Based Separation Of Concerns

January 17, 2013 Leave a comment

Alan Kay is one of the inventors of the Smalltalk programming language and a Turing award winner. During an interview with Dr. Dobbs’s Andrew Binstock, Mr. Kay had this to say:

American business is completely fucked up because it is all about competition. Our world was built for the good from cooperation. – Alan Kay

From the moment we stepped foot into the classroom and received our first gold star, we’ve been brainwashed with the BS idea that separation from, and competition with, other individuals is good and noble. In school, collaboration on assignments and tests is akin to “cheating“.  In business, subjective reward systems pit team mates against each other for money and stature.

At least in school, everyone knows what the score is. There is no group purpose, vision, or mission; it’s all about individual achievement relative to other individuals. In business, so-called leaders constantly cry out for team work and collaboration while keeping idiotic policies/processes/procedures/structures in place that guarantee a friction-based separation of concerns between individuals and groups within the org. The reason this counterproductive “behavior” will continue unabated ad infinitum is because all the players involved in the game simply take it for granted. To “us” (yes, that includes you and me), it’s simply the way it’s always been and it’s simply the way it always should be. This thinking malady is so acute that not many people even try to search for alternatives. Those poor souls that do, are often ostracized into silence.

Coop Collab

Anti-Collaboration

April 21, 2009 Leave a comment

I’d like to think that most people would agree with me when I make the following assertion:

Dysfunctional corpo orgs that consciously (or unconsciously) maintain a localized lock on knowledge, expertise, and experience steer themselves toward inefficient and mediocre organizational performance.

Thus, it pains me when I come across (so-called) leaders who ignore social collaboration tools that could bust the chastity belt lock wide open and tremendously boost corpo performance. Believe it or not, some managers go beyond the call of duty. Because of their innate fear of change and their instinctual desire to maintain the status quo, they discourage the use of these tools by never using them to contribute and by privately ostracizing the people that are trying to use them for the company’s benefit. Yet, they always seem to be going to meetings where cost reduction and productivity improvements are the burning fires of the day. What a wonderful world :^)

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