On today’s Whiteboard Friday I look at the common objections to collaboration and how to bust those myths to get people started on the road to better ways of working.


Hi everyone on today’s Whiteboard Friday we’re going to be busting objections to collaboration.

Hi everyone welcome to another Whiteboard Friday and today we’re going to be gonna look at busting objections to collaboration. What are the things that everybody says and makes excuses and makes reasons up for not collaborating and how can we convince people in order to try collaboration instead. Well…

The first is ‘i’ve no time’ – I’m so time starved! Trying to do this collaboration malarkey well I just don’t have time for that. Well the reason why you don’t have time is because you’re not making collaboration a priority.

You’re not seeing it as a key thing for your business and you’re not seeing it as a key thing for yourself as well. And also what you’ll find is by actually getting involved with collaboration you’ll start saving time.

The work that you do will actually get better, you’ll avoid doing things that people don’t think are good ideas in the first place, the work that you do will be more accurate, you’ll cut down on emails, you’ll cut down on duplication, you’ll cut down on the number of iterations you make on things and overall it’s gonna save you time. But in order to be able to do that you’ve got to take that leap, you’ve got to make collaboration a priority first – give it a try, it’s going to work for you.

The next one – collaboration’s all about social. Well when you first go on all you’re going to see is social because you haven’t told anyone about what you actually want to follow, you haven’t picked anyone to follow, you haven’t said what you’re interests are and you haven’t made any decisions about what interests you.

So the stuff that’s going to trend is generally the stuff that may be social, so you need to start following and expressing interests in exactly the areas that you want to see and that way you’re going to be able to see only the content and the people that really interest you.

The next is ‘sharing doesn’t add value’. So if I put something out there, what’s the point, no-ones gonna see it, why would anyone be bothered about the stuff that I’m working on and why would they get involved.

Well sharing DOES add value and allows other people to be brought into that work and you don’t necessarily going to know who is going to be interested in that and you may not have made connections with those people yet already.

Sharing does add value and it’s really important to work in the open and work transparently in order to collaborate effectively.

Next up – sharing equals bother. I keep hearing this objection of people saying ‘i’ll put it out there and I’m just going to get like 50 comments from people that aren’t actually interested in this stuff or they’re got opinions but they’re not relevant and they’re just going to waste my time.’

Well first of all, people aren’t going to comment and get involved with things that they aren’t interested in, they don’t have time for that either!

They’re only going to get involved with things that are relevant to them or something they have an opinion on or can contribute to, and that is going to be valuable. You’re not going to get hundreds of comments from random people commenting on things they have zero interest in. And also, those aren’t going to be things that they’re following in the first place anyway so it’s not going to come up on their feeds anyway.

You need to put it out there and the people that will get involved are people that you should be listening to, getting feedback from and collaborating with.

The next is ‘I already collaborate’. Now, if I ask anybody in the room ‘do you collaborate’ the answer is ALWAYS going to be yes. Everyone is always going to say yes they always collaborate.

But do you collaborate across the whole of your business or are you only collaborating in your teams themselves? When we talk about collaboration we’re talking about across the whole business, not just about within a specific team. So really challenge yourself to say ‘how collaborative am I wider than my own team?’ and how can I improve the way I collaborate in order to raise the work that I do, create more transparency and bring in more people.

Because the bottom line is – there’s very few things in this business that don’t take multiple business areas to resolve. And that’s why it’s so important that when you talk about collaboration you’re talking business wide and not just team specific.

And the last one – ‘I already know who’s interested. I’m only going to share something with people that I know are interested. I know who it’s relevant to so i’m going to put together a private group and I’m only going to invite those people in because I know who is interested in this’.

Well, you don’t always know who’s going to be interested in it, you only know who you know and you don’t know who’s worked on things before, who might have a wealth of knowledge in this particular sector – they may not be working in that particular team right now but that expertise may have actually built the systems that you rely on or the ways that you work right now. Or they may just be able to give you insights into work they done and feedback that they’re received that could be really valuable to the work that you do. So…

Don’t assume that you know who is interested in the work you’re putting out there. There’s lots and lots of people out there that want to get involved and can add value that you don’t already know about, so be open and be transparent with the way that you work.

Now these aren’t all the objections to collaboration, but these are some of the big ones that I hear a lot, let me know more objections that you hear and the ways that you overcome them in the comments below.

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Thanks everybody and I’ll see you all again next week for another Whiteboard Friday.