Right now, collaboration is a joke.

The sad truth is, most of us really do work alone. Picture this: you work in a team, you have a teammate and a boss. But your boss tells you what to do, and your teammate is focused on something else. Are you working with a team, or are you working in a team?

Delegation or collaboration?

Another picture: it’s a big project, and you’re one of the key persons, let’s say, the IT guy. The project manager and account manager discuss with the group what the client wants to happen, you’re the person who will make it happen. In the end, you do the work alone. The other people in the team work on their own thing. And you all have deliverables to the team.

We usually always end up working alone. We do the work on our own. Forecasts, reports, research, studies, documents. I’d say that the only time we truly work with a team is during brainstorming sessions. But it’s still kind of limited.

Here’s the problem: none of our offices are built for this. We don’t have interactive tools in conference rooms, save the whiteboard or cartolinas clamped together. It’s always one person typing or writing while others are just sitting, watching, or worse, daydreaming. That’s manpower wasted. We don’t have ways for others to actively contribute while someone is doing something. It’s because we’ve been wired to work that way. From where? The classrooms in our 17 years of schooling.

Maybe we have to change the way we work. Instead of delegation, collaboration. Instead of minutes of meeting, we have working meetings with the resulting document as the minutes.

But do you remember in the playground, where kids make up their own rules on the fly, with every kid able to change the way the game is played by just suggesting or doing something new? Aren’t they collaborating to play a game, and in the end, didn’t they all make it fun? If we are able to change the way we work, I’m certain we will be able to change the results of our work.

Is it for the better? Why not give it a shot. Just because something is still working, it doesn’t mean it is working right.

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