Over the past few weeks I looked at collaboration as a planned event. It's not that spontaneous collaboration does not happen (and if you ask my friend Catherine White of Llamagraphics, it really works). In fact I am inclined to go with the spontaneous approach as well but a little planning can help make your collaboration efforts a real win.
Previously I talked about defining your intention and developing a strategy so that you would be prepared when a collaborative opportunity comes about. Today I had planned to talk about action steps but more specifically I want to talk about TAKING ACTION! When the idea of collaboration is first presented there is this real sense that great things are going to happen and if you have defined your intent and developed your strategy, you probably have realistic expectations. But for many of us, the intial excitement wears off and what had sounded real cool grinds to an abrupt halt.
Part of the reason that things slow down or stop is that it takes more than one person to collaborate. Quite simply you and your collaborator may not possess the same amount of enthusiasm. There is nothing you can do about that, but what you can do is be committed to act. By displaying your enthusiasm and backing it up with action, you will not only move closer to the goal but you will inspire the action of your collaborator as well.
The greatest ideas and plans are worthless unless action is taken. The concept of collaboration does not mean that someone else does the work- each collaborator has a job to do. Collaborative synergy is not realized in the planning process- it is realized when action begins and the common goal of the effort moves closer and closer to reality.