Do you compete or collaborate?

 In Trends

Last week I had the privilege of speaking at the Liquid Learning Blended learning conference. My topic 1+1=3. It was a 30 minute interactive session with an outcome to have at least one collaborative project starting, reducing costs to the organisation, increasing productivity and increasing creativity and collaboration. I am happy to say, we achieved three not one collaborative outcomes!

One of the key questions I asked was, what are common programmes you are all creating?  Programmes included presentation skills, privacy act and the most common, Occupational Health and Safety. Imagine company after company creating these programmes, when if organisations collaborated, there could be a common programme created that all participants could access. The one thing we did all agree however is that specific organisational context would need to be added.

A great outcome was that Kineo (key sponsors of the conference) agreed to investigate and share a platform whereby companies can create and share their content. This would be under a creative commons licence. (A Creative Commons (CC) license is one of several public copy-write licenses that enable the free distribution of an otherwise copyrighted work.) See more here.

The other outcomes were that Fairfax media will be collaborating on a bullying programme with another participating organisation, and four media companies will be coming together to brainstorm a solution for their technical training cost issues. And one senior L&D manager of a telco told me, “you know, I have never thought about collaborating on come common content, but I am going to now”. Just think all those telco’s creating content on ‘How does a cell phone tower work?’ for induction. Imagine the cost and productivity savings by getting together and co-creating this. I would also image it would be a more imaginative solution too!

It’s not always this way. In several recent newsletters,  I have offered  a free cloud based, curated  LMS (from a developer who was ex  Total Sum Solutions) for Instructional Designers, who can use it to collaborate  create, share and get paid for elearning. My suggestion was that Instructional Designers across organisations can use it collaborate to create base elearning such as the Privacy Act, Consumer Guanrantees Act etc. Interestingly I had an email from a manager in a government department suggesting this was a bad thing to do, because ‘fat cat organisations already make enough  money and they shouldn’t get anything for free’

It’s not always bad either. There is more collaboration in the industry. Inspire Group hosted a series of National Training and Development Association elearning seminars, which were facilitated by their competitor Kineo.

And at a recent, quarterly elearning forum  organised by Andy Graves and hosted by BNZ and was another a fabulous example of collaboration. There was a great session on gamification, co presented by Rachel Teasdale of Kineo and Mel Hawkins of Inspire Group, by all accounts two competitors in the market. Both with talent and humour they co -presented great information on what gamification is and concept to apply. Collaboration for the upskilling of the industry which is fantastic.

So rather than compete, think about who you could collaborate with the better serve your industry, customers, staff or stakeholders. Become ‘Competimates‘ (companies that compete, but also work together from time to time to provide solutions to a range of stakeholders)

I would say however,  this takes a certain mind set. A mind set  of generosity,  of service, of adding value.  Believing that  1+1 can =3.  A generosity of heart, a belief that people are good. Of being trusting (until proven otherwise). That we all have our own unique part to play in our industry/game.

Over a mindset, that there is not enough, of poverty consciousness, that only we can do it the best, of lack.

You can feel the energy of those mindsets the moment you meet some one.

What choice will you make today? Collaborate or Compete?

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  • amandasterling

    What a fabulous blog Rustica! The concept of collaboration over competition is not new but under-utilised. Interestingly, there is some emergent thinking around collaboration as a learning tool. Only makes sense that learning designers are doing the same.