07 February 2012 ~ 0 Comments

The Yin and Yang of Collaboration, is it really Me versus We?



A recent NY Times Opinion piece on collaboration, the “New Group Think”, questions whether collaboration, group work and team based ideation, are less effective than working privately and autonomously? For instance, when should we work alone and when is a team based approach more effective?

After reading it, my question is, is there a need to pit individual work against team co-creation as both are necessary to solving large scale problems? If one person could easily create a solution on their own, then why would they need to collaborate with others? It is the very nature of the problem sets we all are engaged in solving, that collaborative is absolutely necessary.

At Edistorm, we regularly communicate with “stormers” in our customer discovery process. It’s how we dig deeper with our users to better understand the problems they are trying to solve by using Edistorm. Second, it gives them a better understanding of how Edistorm works and how they can better use our platform of tools more effectively.

The one thing which has become obvious over the past six months of an intense customer discover process; Our subscribers are using Edistorm synchronously and asynchronously. Meaning they are working with their teams and also working autonomously, doing their own thinking and problem solving. Ultimately, all of these ideas collide in their “storms” as teams work through their processes and find solutions.

What we found most striking in the opinion piece, is the passage below.

And I’m not suggesting that we abolish teamwork. Indeed, recent studies suggest that influential academic work is increasingly conducted by teams rather than by individuals. (Although teams whose members collaborate remotely, from separate universities, appear to be the most influential of all.) The problems we face in science, economics and many other fields are more complex than ever before, and we’ll need to stand on one another’s shoulders if we can possibly hope to solve them.

While the above passage cites studies based on academic work, our client experience suggests that great work is being done remotely, autonomously and collaboratively in the enterprise space as well.

We regularly communicate with companies globally, who have similar needs for tools that will enable them to collaborate, share ideas and work remotely. We have users in 115+ countries who find Edistorm on their own, as we barely spend any time on finding our customers. A testament that many people world wide are seeking tools which enable them to work both remotely, autonomously and collaboratively.



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