Guided Collaboration

Posted on 10. Oct, 2012 by tom in New Ways to Work, blog

At Goshido, we like to talk about “guided collaboration.”  Why?  Because work is dynamic.  A revelation, I know!  But I think it’s time to reiterate first principles.  Namely, the nature of work has changed, and so must our tools if we’re going to keep up.

Whether it’s Steve Denning writing about self-organizing teams in “The Leader’s Guide to Radical Management” or Charles Pierce writing about “The Limits of Control” in professional sports, you don’t have to look far to see examples of command-and-control failures.  Does your work ever fit together like this:

command and control

command and control

Of course not.  So why even try to structure your work in this manner?  Projects as formal entities can be invaluable, and structure is not just a necessary evil.  But hierarchies don’t adapt or evolve.  They’re static, they’re brittle, and sooner or later they break.

Many projects look more like this:

collaboration without coordination

collaboration without coordination

You know the starting point, and you know the desired endpoint.  What you can’t predict is how you’ll get from start to finish.  Knowledge work projects evolve.  You can’t eliminate complexity, but you can manage it if you get the right variables — who, what, and when — together in one place.

This concept is top of mind for me these days as a great TED talk by Clay Shirky on open-source government is receiving much well-deserved attention.  What caught my eye, from a project management perspective, was his discussion of version control systems.  Feudalism vs. open-source.

We’re not trying to eradicate feudalism here at Goshido, but we are trying to help make work better.  This matters to us.  Let us know how we’re helping you or your team be more effective or what we can do better.

Try Goshido, our collaboration & project management platform. Goshido is so flexible it can be used for projects in any part of your organization.

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