The New Collaboration: Differences breathe life and sameness means death. Collaboration can be hard wok and involves energy, focus and openness. In an interview during a Rutgers research project, an engineer working on an innovation team in a major US firm said, “I had a tough time to think through my discipline enough to make it clear to other specialists who were far removed. The process forced me to clarify my thinking and assumptions.” But some researchers have demurred. In a recent NY Times article, Susan Cain painted the new collaboration which as being nothing but groupthink in disguise. Groupthink as we know leads to all kinds of evil including botched invasions, failed businesses and as she asserts, suppressing individual thinking and creativity. Certainly, groupthink by its definition creates shared blindness and prejudices in participants supported by the social pressure for everyone to think the same. Given this it’s a wonder that the new collaboration has been embraced in almost every US institution including business, education, health care except sadly where it is probably needed most, elected government. The answer is because the new collaboration is itself an anecdote for group think. The new collaboration emphasizes bringing together people with different perspectives that will be respected and used in the process of collaboration; difference not the sameness of groupthink is the bed rock of the new collaboration. Because of this, the new collaboration avoids becoming groupthink.
Inventors are not innovators!
Was Steve Jobs an inventor? No! says Lev Grossman in a recent article in Time magazine. Inventors are the people who come up with the bright idea. While Jobs took other people bright ideas and made them better and better until they could become “irresistible retail commodities.” In his zeal to reestablish the value of inventors, Grossman felt the need to nay say the irreplaceable partner of the inventor, the...
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