On collaboration and debate

Social media has taken collaboration to new levels of connectivity over distance and inter-connectedness of specialists. We are creating whole, new online business communities thinking and working together. Business collaboration isn't some kumbaya love-fest. Tweet this. Collaboration is not going to reconcile east and west or spawn a better society. Collaboration facilitates debate and grows ideas.

Collaboration improves the connectivity of the existing community and culture. To the extent that it decreases ignorance and hence improves empathy it helps make a better world. But just as powerfully, collaboration allows like-minded people to draw together, to get the wagons in a circle, to disappear into their own little world of mutually-reinforced prejudices and cult delusions. Tweet this. So don't go looking for the social-media-induced Age of Aquarius any time soon.

There's far too much New Age thinking in IT. Years ago, I cut my pony tail off, took the ear-ring out, threw out the overalls, and gave up the ganja. Time a few others let go of the Sixties too.

In business, lifting the love index is not the value of the new connectivity. Collaboration drives faster and better results. World-wide communities increase synergy. Collaboration of experts ensures the maximum exploitation of knowledge resources. So it is for ITSM.

This isn't a pre-school ballet competition. Not everybody gets a prize and not everybody deserves encouragement. Collaboration involves robust debate. One of the best ways to grow and evolve your thinking is to have to defend it.
© Can Stock Photo Inc. / Pixart

This is business, commerce, industry. Other people's money. Watch the Dragon's Den: only real ideas survive. Business is about trying to craft practical solutions to today's problems. It's a world of practicality, pragmatism, a tough reality driven by common sense. There are more bad ideas than good ideas; collaboration involves testing ideas as much as generating them. Ideas grow stronger fighting a head wind.

It is also a good way to change your mind. People say debate entrenches positions. That's not my experience. Some of my biggest changes of mind have come from defending positions and feeling the sand slip away under pressure. Most recently I've had a big shift in my thinking over DevOps: more of that as the year unfolds.

The IT Skeptic has tried never to make it personal (I hope) but I sure as hell go after fuzzy thinking and half-baked ideas. I consider it my contribution of value to the community. I expect the same robust debate in return. I harden my ideas in the fire. That's what I love about collaboration. Tweet this

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