The following are my comments posted on Thinking About Collaboration, which talks about how collaboration fueled the Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions – but seems to be missing from the Knowledge revolution.
“It is timely for me to read this blog as I am being encouraged by a man I have never met via Skype to take my new brand and make it global – not in a monetizing franchising way, but as a collaborative effort. His vision is to allow people in other countries (he is in South Africa) to share the experience he and I gain from putting on our individual events focused on people starting over (divorce, bereavement etc).
On the one hand I find myself trying to decide when to invest in patenting a new brand that has not yet even experienced the test of it’s first event, and on the other hand, keen to create a collaborative platform via a shared website to support others who want to do their own versions of the show, but within a kind of consistent framework (like with franchising).
But without trademarking and without the discipline and clear consequences (removing the right to benefit from ‘the brand’) for those who choose to dumb down or spoil the collaborative vision, how can collaboration work when the players are dispersed, and the project they are working on lacks the clarity of a new open source software development?
Democracy – when done well – is all about collaboration. When King Arthur sat at the Round Table, he was no longer King but part of a collaborative group, with a shared vision and values of conduct.
In our modern world, perhaps it is the lack of clear vision and the lack of shared values that makes collaboration so often fail. Successful collaborative work is democracy in action. Management culture without true democratic processes and inspired vision will always be a sham.