From Debbie Payne's Major Project, "Creating Community through Collaboration and Technology," researched and written for her MA in Leadership and Training at Royal Roads Univeristy (2000), come the following insights on collaboration.
Collaboration is defined and perceived by people differently. Before embarking on a collaborative project, it is important to establish what collaboration means to people, what their expectations are, what level of commitment they are able and willing to make, as well as their ability to invest time, energy and resources. This is critical to establishing a common understanding so the group can create a collaborative environment that fosters innovation, creativity and community.
· That a group embarking on a collaborative journey spend time initially articulating what this means to each group member;
· That reflection time be built into the collaborative process;
· That leadership be shared in the collaborative journey; and,
· That the group consider:
- seeking common understanding of the feeling of collaboration;
- how it defines its goal or purpose and demonstrates its level of commitment;
- the influence of beliefs, values and perception;
- exploring individuals comfort with technology;
- its willingness to learn about collaboration; and,
- the possible influence of gender, group size and inter-organizational issues.