By Deborah Vrabel
Creating opportunities, incentives, structures, technologies, and spaces for dialogue and collaboration is an important theme for most large organizations. It is often a daunting challenge—but well worth the effort. As a writer, I have been privileged to witness, participate in, and/or chronicle a few groundbreaking collaborative endeavors. I have agonized with clients who tried valiantly to collaborate in impossible circumstances. And I have also seen more than a few pseudo-collaborative efforts—which invariably accomplished little.
Because of that stimulating, sometimes frustrating vantage point, I have thought deeply about collaborative work and how to sustain and enhance it. But I always thought about how collaboration would benefit my clients—never myself. Until recently, I never asked the question:
“What kind of collaborative relationships would be generative for me and others facing the realities of creating or recreating a meaningful, rewarding career in a time of rapid change, social upheaval, and economic uncertainty?”
That question was my starting point.