Collaboration, Cooperation & Openness: The Framework for Success

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Collaboration, cooperation and contribution are the characteristics of open frameworks, frameworks that will succeed in the future.

I can’t lose this visual of windows versus doors.

This idea of openness versus transparency.

You see we’ve all been talking about the importance of transparency and yet truth be told there is something more elemental to growth and success in this new world we live in than transparency.

Openness. Openness of design, mindset, culture, communication, being; collaboration, cooperation and contribution.

I came to this realization as I was reading Umair Haque’s recent post on his interview with @ev the founder of Twitter. Ev describes Twitter’s openness as basic  “survival strategy.” Haque goes on to clarify how ‘new ideas, new concepts, new applications — all flow to open organizations. Openness is now table stakes: fail at it, and you’re not even in the game.” ( all leaders, innovators, entrepreneurs, social change agents- listening?)

And when I thought about the metaphor of doors versus windows a light went off, albeit a small one. Transparency is critical but a contribution based framework like Linux, Flickr, Meet-up is ESSENTIAL NOW.  You see openness is what it’s all about now because when things are open you and I can contribute and contribution, participation is the key.

And then I thought about Clay Shirky. And his recent Ted talk on Collaboration vs Institution.

You see we’re  living amidst organizational chaos. There is most definitely a revolution  underway. Whereas we use to protect, institutionalize and organize everyone now we are developing frameworks that understand the long tail. The idea that all contribution is good, we understand every act of contribution has value. Every contributor valuable.

Think about Wikipedia. Launched formally in 2001, Wikipedia now boasts over 14 million usable articles in hundreds of languages. And it was all done voluntarily. Think that could have been done in an organization? With only a window to see through? No people needed doors, they needed an open framework to get involved with,  contribute too,  become a part of.

If it’s true that young mothers are swarming to meet-up then this online, unleash the people thing may just have value beyond 15 year old’s with headsets and X-boxes. Ya think?

Don’t for one minute think your success won’t hinge on how open of a system,  framework you create and how committed you are to experimentation, collaboration and contribution.

If you are a leader,  a business person, organization you must step back now and look at how open your framework is. Do you have a static model or a dynamic, experimentation based framework? Are you designed for contribution, collaboration and cooperation or closed, exclusive and controlled?

Lose the arguments about whether blogger’s are real writers.

Get over your horse and buggy mindset.

The printing press was a revolution 1, this is revolution 10.

As Shirky states we are in for decades of chaos but make no mistake this chaos is all about UNLEASHING and LIBERATING people to contribute and collaborate.

And just in case you missed it- here’s Clay Shirky’s Ted Talk:

Institutions vs Collaboration

Thoughts?

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Photo Uploaded to FLickr on November 19, 2009
by _cassia_

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