“I never did anything alone. Whatever was accomplished in this country was accomplished collectively.”
Source for the table below: COLLABORATION FOR A CHANGE (revised January 2002)
Definitions, Decision-making models, Roles, and Collaboration Process Guide
By Arthur T. Himmelman
When people talk about working together the subtext for everyone at the table, whether it is said aloud or not is usually: “what’s in it for me, and what’s it gonna cost?” Arthur Himmelman’s distinctions between these three concepts are important in that they illustrate how as relationships grow and deepen, critical aspects of working together, like trust and confidence, pave the way for shared risk and resources.
Moving from coordinating, to cooperating, to collaborating isn’t a seamless, smooth evolution. People who work together successfully spend plenty of time up front not only “getting on the same page,” but also honestly sharing their expectations and commitments with their potential partners.
Another important thing to remember is that every partnership doesn’t have to be, or strive to be a collaboration. Sometimes simple coordination can achieve a goal. When that is the case, that success can serve as an underpinning for a deeper partnership.
4 thoughts on “Working Together: Coordinating, Cooperating, Or Collaborating”
Hi John –
I just saw this. Thanks very much for sharing some of my ideas about working together. I am very pleased that you think they can be useful for others. If you would like to see what I have been doing since this article was written, please see my website: http://www.HimmelmanConsulting.com.
Thanks Arthur. I am always pleased to point folks to your wisdom.