A book thoroughly examines the power of successful collaborations.
Canadian collaboration expert Savage (a contributor to Ready, Aim, Excel, 2012) offers a work that couldn’t be more timely. While it addresses organizational collaboration, this book could be interpreted more broadly as a treatise on building a cooperative culture within families, groups, businesses, and government. In a collection of concise chapters, Savage leads the reader through a discussion of the meaning and value of collaboration. The author supplements his own experiences over more than four decades with extensive quotes from experts and results from surveys that he conducted; in effect, he collaborated far and wide to garner input for this volume. Part One lays the groundwork by first exploring reasons for collaboration, why it fails, and what is required for effective collaboration. Part Two explores “The Discipline of Collaboration,” addressing such issues as why collaboration is misunderstood, how to involve stakeholders, and why the practice demands “opening the mind…opening the heart…and opening the will.” This section also delivers a useful assessment tool to determine the state of an organization’s “collaborative ecosystem.” In Part Three, Savage provides a comprehensive road map via 10 specific steps for implementing organizational collaboration. Beginning with “Step 1: Set Intention and Declare Your Purpose,” and concluding with “Step 10: Make It So: Positively Change the Energy and the Future Together,” the book systematically details each step and then summarizes to facilitate implementation. Part Four (“Break Through”) offers a discussion of circles and teams, and explains the rise of the “Chief Collaboration Officer” as a senior position, which, Savage writes, is “the greatest advance in organizational productivity in the knowledge economy.” This engaging volume’s Appendices contain additional worthy information, including quotes from experts (from Bryce Medd/Wealthy Tortoise Financial, British Columbia: “In the financial services realm, if the intention is to create one plan, a road map for a client, then only by collaboration can all of the various disciplines come together for the best interest of the client”). The Appendices also include an itemized list of “roadblocks to collaboration,” and vital lessons the author has learned from some less-than-successful collaborative engagement startups. Highly readable, informative, and well-organized, this insightful work acts as a short-form textbook on the best practices in collaboration.
A valuable volume for the senior leader of any group, business, or organization who wants to build a collaborative culture.