Dawn Dunn, 29th January 2020
The dictionary gives two very different interpretations of “collaboration” :
a) “the action of working with someone to produce something”
b) ”traitorous cooperation with an enemy”
The second definition being generally used in a conflict situation. Yet it is surprising how many individuals and organisations fail to recognise the benefit of working together, as if the act of joint enterprise somehow diminishes their influence or standing within the community. Some would battle on alone rather than “working with someone to produce something”.
The pre-fix “co” is commonplace. In referring to areas that are suitable for “co-working” or “cohabiting” (the “Co-op” is the UK‘s oldest food retailer), we accept that sharing some things, such as space and food, is important where resources are limited, and yet the idea of pooling ideas and research to “co-create”, is often met with suspicion.
Are there really benefits? Will they outweigh the risk? Might I sacrifice my identity? Perhaps someone will take credit for my work? We are territorial creatures. But we need to look beyond instinct.
Collaboration requires trust, a precious commodity in a jungle of fake news and internet trickery. And yet many great scientific discoveries have been forged in the spirit of collaboration and partnership, and the adage that “no man is an island” is surely as true at the top of the (allegedly lonely) corporate ladder, as it is in a start-up.
Dynamo champions collaboration, our Dynamites awards even recognised the “collaborator of the year” – it is ultimately what we’re about. Our technology network continually strives to connect large companies with smaller ones, SMEs with SMEs and corporates with other corporates – because we believe that being part of the network builds and develops such trust. Regardless of the sector, we are ultimately the same family, working together to build not only our own businesses and “bottom line”, but to have a positive impact on the regional tech economy.
Our members join us to reap the benefits of “hivemind”, to spark new ideas that foster innovation, and they also understand that even in this relatively small geography it is important to appreciate the value of fresh perspective.
Dynamo increasingly looks to form relationships with our partners – across other networks, across regions or even international borders. Long term, or short term – whatever the mission demands. In some instances this may indeed be viewed as ‘traitorous collaboration with the enemy’ – particularly where historic football rivalry or political tensions run deep, but results consistently indicate that ‘two heads are better than one‘ – and it is that data that will set the direction of travel. Come on the journey.
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