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Book Summary — Collaboration Patterns

A Pattern Language for Creative Collaboration

You can find all my book summaries — here.

My 1 paragraph summary:

Collaboration Patterns verbalises 34 patterns which promote teamwork that creates new and shared values to grow as a team and enhance each other. At the centre of it are three ultimate goals (1) Mission for the Future (2) Innovative Ways and (3) Create a Legend.

How to Use

  1. Diagnosing Yourself — Have experience with vs Not Have experience with, you can then see what you need to practice
  2. Drawing Future Visions — discuss which patterns are important to you and use them to form a vision
  3. Improving Your Team — “Practice”, “Want to Practice”, “Not Practising” — discuss as a group how you can do it
  4. Reflecting on Collaboration — “Practising”, “Partially Practising”, “Not Practising” — discuss as a group how you can do it
  5. Case Studies — take examples from the past and compare them against the patterns, categorise them as “Practising”, “Partially Practising”, “Not Practising”
  6. Dialogues — choose a pattern and share a story about it
  7. Interviews — interview others to hear stories about patterns

0) Creative Collaboration

Creative Collaboration promotes teamwork that creates new values. You can grow together by enhancing each other. Collectively produce an emergent vigor that cannot be reduced to any one team member.

1) Mission for the Future

The future will not change if you only have a vague idea of what it will look like.

Work on a sense of mission that you must be the one to make this future reality.

4) Growth Spiral

Members enhance each other.

The project is limited to the current abilities of its team members.

Get stimulated by your team members and then stimulate them in return. Work as a team and grow together dynamically.

New skills will emerge.

5) Synthetic Union

Members with whom you can share a vision for the future.

Don’t choose members based on their skills and knowledge, but rather a team with whom you can share the same vision.

6) Response Rally

Small responses connect the team.

Create super fast feedback and communication loops. Don’t wait too long to reply to emails or don’t reply at all. Always reply to everything as fast as possible. Don’t be a blocker. Let others learn at lightning speed.

7) Feeling of Togetherness

Feeling of working together.

Even when you’re split into departments — organise opportunities for the team to share common experiences. Activities, merchandise, inside jokes — bond your team — give them a forum to bond.

8) Part to Contribute

Involve people in the best way possible.

People fill quickly alienated if they don’t feel useful and become resentful. Communicate with your team how you can best help and involve yourself in that way. Allow people to get involved in different areas.

9) Return of Growth

Identify what skills and experiences you want to get away from the project, what it means to you and communicate that to your team.

This is your stimulate and the whole team can work with you on your goals.

10) Spontaneous Commitments

We often slip back into passiveness and only doing what we’re told.

You want to have the feeling though that the project belongs to you and want to keep looking for tasks which you can do for it.

Ask others if they need help — be active about it, you actually want to help.

11) Loose Connections

Knowing how everyone is doing, even if you’re apart.

You need to know each other well — you need systems in place which allow members to informally communicate outside project hours and understand how everyone is feeling even between meetings.

You can then go straight into effective meetings.

12) Vulnerability Disclosure

One person’s weakness becomes the team’s strength.

The more worries and troubles you keep to yourself the worst for the whole project.

Whether related to the project or not — be open about your worries and troubles. Be heard. Your team members can hear you out or even help.

13) Words of Thanks

Don’t take it as granted — just say it.

Reconsider the environment you’re in and show your thankfulness.

2) Innovative Ways

Ordinary ways will only produce ordinary results.

Pay attention to the creation process — if you want something new you’ll have to come up with new ways of creating. You will achieve a new level of quality.

14) Emergence Vigor

When you try to think of ideas, you always have a mental block.

Create an environment that encourages members to share their ideas, however slight they may be, and trigger emergent chains of ideas. Combine it with other ideas and create more. Brainstorm together. Bounce ideas off each other.

15) Loaf of Time

Short meetings make people think that lower quality results are ok.

Schedule plenty of continuous time available to work on the project. That time should then be a priority for everyone to work on the project.

16) Collaborative Field

Create an environment that allows fun, creative work and you can concentrate to the fullest. — whatever works for you, tables, big space, whiteboards, outdoors, etc

17) Activity Footprints

Share all your progress and everybody else’s. Make it easy to track back through past versions. It’s easy to get lost in your own work and discount other people’s.

18) Chaotic Path to Breakthrough

If your project is stuck, don’t just erratically go forward. Rethinking the whole project and taking the time to recollect everything can come up with the breakthrough and the new ideas/ways/processes you need.

Continued silence is time spent carefully thinking and is not wasted.

19) Ideas Taking Shape

Visually shape your ideas, so others can see it.

It’s often the easiest way to make others understand.

20) Inside Innovator

When you have an idea, nurture its growth by gradually finding people who understand it and by getting them involved.

21) Roadmap to the Goal

Set the roadmap together so everybody understands. Work backwards from the deadline and make sure everybody is on board.

22) Improvised Roles

Don’t get stuck on your own role/jobs, think about it holistically and consider what takes highest priority — work and help out there!

23) Spadework for Creativity

If ideas are stale, bring in surprises. Inspirational material which you like — videos, books, sweets — do something different. Have fun planning the surprises. Make it the norm.

3) Create a Legend

A project whose story will be passed down to the next generation.

Just being merely good is not good enough — new good products are produced every day.

Aim for a project that will become part of history — with the mindset of changing the world.

24) Power to Change the World

Don’t just complete the project for completion sake. Think about its power on the audience — will it achieve what you want to? will it change the world?

25) Quality Line

Keep checking in on the quality goal you have — check in again and again.

Don’t settle for satisfactory.

26) Creative Clashes

Share all your opinions, and have earnest discussions about how to reach true quality.

This shouldn’t be clashes between people but between ideas.

27) Generative Destruction

If things don’t live up to the quality standards. Don’t be afraid to take the whole project apart and start from scratch. Take the learning and put it into version 2.

28) Beyond Expectations

Create something that goes beyond what people expect.

29) Project Followers

Let the project present its original view to the world and let the fans come to you.

30) Strategic Developments

Don’t let your project simply end with one result — consider if there are other ways the project can be used, besides its primary purpose.

31) Context of the World

Consider where your project fits into in the context of the whole world.

32) Endurance to Continue Creating

Healthy body, diet and good sleep cycles are absolutely key for the whole team — never neglect them.

33) Polishing Senses

Branch out into different areas, so you get a deep sense of what exceptional work looks like. Don’t just stay in your niche. Get a wider sense.

You can find all my book summaries — here.

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