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11 The Qualities of Authentic Collaboration

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Image credit: 4nitsirk via Flickr

I’ve been doing some strategic planning of late (something I do literally at 40,000 feet sitting in coach) and one of the things that I decided I had never done was articulate the values I hold for my organization. I mean, I know them, I live them, they guide my decisions, and maybe I’ve even expressed most of them in blog posts here, but I don’t know that I ever sat down and collected them in one spot.

As I created and refined my list I was struck by an overwhelming feeling that this list not only defined the best me, it defined what I really do for a living. The theme that kept coming up over and over again was collaboration. No matter what I do in my business, everything from writing this blog post to working on projects with virtual teams involves a quality of collaboration.

That’s the business that I think many of us, certainly those in the consulting and service industries, are in. I don’t really do things for people, I do things with people. I get a tremendous amount of help from forces seen and unseen on the things I claim to create and I provide collaborative support for the creations of others – even if it’s simply by penning a chapter in a book that sparks an innovation.

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