Collaboration or cooperation?

coopStowe Boyd is a great writer on technology and the impact it has on organisational culture.

You can follow his blog here, which is updated several times a day with great titbits and articles.

He has written a post for the CMSWire website, entitled The Fall of Collaboration, The Rise of Cooperation which is a really interesting read.

In it he mentions a great quote from Marshall McLuhan: “Our Age of Anxiety is, in great part, the result of trying to do today’s jobs with yesterday’s tools!” – I can see myself repeating that in meetings in the future, for sure.

As we move into a new way of work — one based on more fluid and looser connections, grounded in freethinking, humanist and scientific approaches to the social contract — it’s becoming clear that the traditional model of “collaboration tools” is based around outmoded structures of control rather than the shape of our work today, or the nature of networked sociality. We need a different take on the tools we are using to get work done, one based on open cooperation at the core of our work instead of closed collaboration running alongside it.

His idea seems to be that the notion of collaboration has come to mean big, corporate platforms and processes. Cooperation on the other hand is more about individuals finding their own way to work together, using the most appropriate tools for the job.

Is this how you see things? Has the word collaboration become tainted by association?

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Published by

Dave Briggs

I'm Head of Digital and Design at Adur and Worthing Councils.