Since first crawling out of the primordial slime and starting to walk on its hind legs, mankind has depended on collaboration for survival. Families, clans, tribes, corporations, cities, countries and international bodies like the UN all serve the purpose of, and are dependent upon, collaboration. Almost everything we do depends on collaboration. Almost any system, process or technology involves people collaborating. Moreover, as creatures that are continually evolving and creating new ways of doing things, this means that the foundation, measures and methods of how we collaborate are also changing.Consequently, we need to master collaboration in order to improve and operate at the most effective levels possible, taking advantage of the technological advances of the past few decades, which have resulted in what we now call ecollaboration, or as we like to say ‘together works!’Ecollaboration is not just simply a set of tools, a methodology or a mechanism for getting something done in a particular way. Ecollaboration has its own special identity, and involves approaching a number of business challenges with a new thinking model. We will elaborate on this as we go forward.Ecollaboration is group-work using emedia. It incorporates holistic principles and involves working to a shared goal. It entails collectively sharing ideas (often across different continents and cultures), providing input on aspects of development, managing the common elements and, ultimately, successfully delivering a product (a service or change that satisfies a customer, user, associate or social need). It combines multiple forms of communication, social interaction and problem solving all within an organised and protective framework.
Think about ecollaboration as an ecosystem or a dynamic organism with human, mechanical and social interfaces. Manage them with nurturing, understanding and support. When you do this, the ecollaboration team will create a natural order enhancing its own unique environment. Bear in mind that what works for one collaborative environment may not necessarily work well for others, if you try to duplicate it in a different context. You will also need some management in place and this is why we have included a section on management.
For more ideas of how and why to ecollaborate successfully, we have written a book using ecollaboration. This book should give you some new ideas on how to create a better future for yourself and your organisation through ecollaboration. You will find lots of practical tips to help you avoid perpetuating any of the above myths based on our diverse and collective experience.