LeadU presents Collaboration



“The most powerful force ever known on this planet is human cooperation — a force for construction and destruction.” — Jonathan Haidt

In our work @F-L-O-W, I’ve tried to be careful about defining differences and contrasting cooperation, which is a ValuDYNAMIC (outcome as a result of an application of values in a social operating mechanism)… as is: collaboration.

They are two VERY different ValuDYNAMICS.

[There is additional context for Collaboration as a Resultant HERE]

I wanted to make a quick, but important TPOV @F-L-O-W about collaboration, as it differs from cooperation. I use the contrast provided in the Thomas Kilmann Conflict Mode: [Understanding Conflict], which states that collaboration is different than cooperation, which is designed as a sacrifice of self system, which is unassertive, cooperative, and a collaborative system which is assertive, cooperative, too VERY different approaches… those of which can be contrasted with the compromise system, where people are somewhat assertive and somewhat cooperative.

MOST of what people talk about today is compromise, or cooperation, as collaboration is a very difficult process which requires "each" to maintain its integrity while undergoing emergence with the other — also maintaining its integrity.

This produces a third way solution, and this kind of solution is extremely difficult in most circumstances as it requires innovation beyond what each, or many competing, cooperating, avoiding, accommodating aspects of conflict will in fact promote.

Here is another one of Haidt’s quotes:

“If our goal is to understand the world, to seek a deeper understanding of the world, our general lack of moral diversity here is going to make it harder. Because when people all share values, when people all share morals, they become a team.” — Jonathan Haidt

I want to contrast what he says here with the idea that understanding is not always the goal! In fact, understanding deeply is not only @BS, but impossible.

Back to Kuhn for one moment: [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradigm ]
"Kuhn was at pains to point out that the rationale for the choice of exemplars is a specific way of viewing reality: that view and the status of "exemplar" are mutually reinforcing. For well-integrated members of a particular discipline, its paradigm is so convincing that it normally renders even the possibility of alternatives unconvincing and counter-intuitive. 

Such a paradigm is opaque, appearing to be a direct view of the bedrock of reality itself, and obscuring the possibility that there might be other, alternative imageries hidden behind it. The conviction that the current paradigmis reality tends to disqualify evidence that might undermine the paradigm itself; this in turn leads to a build-up of unreconciled anomalies.

It is the latter that is responsible for the eventual revolutionary overthrow of the incumbent paradigm, and its replacement by a new one. Kuhn used the expressionparadigm shift (see below) for this process, and likened it to the perceptual change that occurs when our interpretation of an ambiguous image "flips-over" from one state to another.[5]  (The rabbit-duck illusion is an example: it is not possible to see both the rabbit and the duck simultaneously.) This is significant in relation to the issue of incommensurability (see below).

This IDEA being put forward by "cooperators" and empathisizers is important for many reasons, most of which DO NOT support cooperation, ironically.

You see, the reason why collaboration is so difficult is that it is a paradoxical agent at best, and an unsolvable enigma in the worst.

To KEEP PRETENDING that we can somehow "understand others" was something I realized after about a decade of professional coaching. I realized that not only was it unlikely that I would understand, but probably in pretending so, it would make matters much worse.

This is when my journey of trying to understand how people make meaning became the profundity I needed to move forward in my own sense-making. It is NOW, in the past decade where I have come to realize that this continued ValuDYNAMIC which promotes the IDEA that we can somehow empathize, or understand others provides me with my own sense and worldview, that this is part of the problem, not part of the solution.

What is missing today is respect for others and their differences. A process of honoring true diversity, not just ethnic, but developmental and values diversity.

Progressivity would have us pulled into the vacuum of understanding others and therefore muddy the purity with which our values are different and solve very specific conditionals with their rule sets.

Instead of us designing solutions with valuDIVERSITY, we are continuing to keep pretending that we can understand others, their motives, intentions, and experience; and that through understanding that we will somehow cooperate. Usually as a result of convincing, or conditioning others to our POV.

This is the current mode of conflict tensions that is being served by the current ValuDYNAMIC producing resultants consistent with their POV. Because each dynamic produces a fitness which is resulting from its particular micromotives in combination with these tensions, or conditionals, the dynamic is assumed to be right in that case, or fit.

What is missing is that progressivity says we should transcend, in most cases, what are very valuable solutions arising from these POVs and re-calibrate them to a more complex frame to match the more complex conditions.

It is ASSUMED this can be done through understanding, and empathy, without a respect for what has taken place before, and what is a right that people have to be, do, have, become, and contribute as they can.

Again @BS, the underlying assumptions are that because we can, they can, and will, given the right amount of ______________________. It’s not politically correct in our world to suggest people can’t, or won’t, or don’t for reasons other than something attributed to some sort of defect on their part.

With these rules in place, the rules of A particular ValuDYNAMIC, we create barriers to finding the third way. We try to understand, and convince, influence and drive others away from their "flawed" point of view to the more complex, the most progressive, without respecting the dignity of people to hold their limited views — and ALL people hold limited views, not comprehensive, or all-encompassing views, as some would pretend.

Collaboration, IMHO, calls us towards contribution, in other words, rather than trying to influence others to CHANGE their POV, we respect and dignify that view. In doing so, it requires us to continue to clarify our views, and develop more efficient, effective, and sustainable rule sets within those views and to actually begin to design environments which are more conducive to our solutions, rather than continuing to become victims to progressivity, which will over-power our fitness, as a rule — it’s designed to do so by nature to drive fitness.

Yet, what cooperators fail to understand in themselves is that continuing to pretend that we can match complexity step for step with a homogenous system of transcend and include bearings will create confusion, lack of efficacy and profound failure.

Helpful Hint: It is only with collaboration where we preserve, protect, and scaffold development within diverse systems, that the quality and quantity of micromotives required for complex emergence and fit will occur.

Action Step: Identify your current design, and how it solves some conditions better than others. Identify success requirements, both now, near, and far, which may produce natural alignment and fit with your current happiness attributes. Where there is lack of fit, or alignment, consider resisting progress, and clarify whether design in the numerator, or the denominator will produce more thrivable conditions, using simpler, rather than more complex resources.

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    We hope you pick up valuable insights, ideas, and tools during this process, which you can use for your own development as well as your work and leadership with others.

    You, Me, and We @F-L-O-W

    Mike R. Jay is a developmentalist utilizing consulting, coaching, mentoring and advising as methods to offer developmental scaffolding for aspiring leaders who are interested in being, doing, having, becoming, and contributing… to helping people have lives.

    Mike R. Jay
    Leadership University

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