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Berg: The Collaboration Pyramid Cheat Sheet by


The majority of the value-­cre­ation activities in an enterprise are hidden. They happen below the visible surface.

What we see when we think of collab­oration in the tradit­ional sense (struc­tured team-based collab­ora­tion) is the tip of the iceberg – teams who are coordi­nating their actions to achieve some goal.

We don’t see - and thus don’t recognize - all the activities which have enabled the team to form and which help them throughout their journey.

We see the people in the team, how they coordinate their actions and the results of their actions, but we rarely see the other things which have been critical for their success.

For example: we don’t see how they have used their personal networks to access knowledge, inform­ation and skills which they don’t have in their team already but which are instru­mental for their success.

Layers of Collab­eration

1. Act
2. Coordinate
3. Form Team
4. Contribute
5. Connect and Relate
6. Find & discover people
7. Share what you know, have and think
8. Make Yourself visible and partic­ipate
Order from the highest level of visability (1) to the lowest (8).

Collab­eration Pyramid

Layers Below the Surface

The layers which are below the surface are usually not recognized or valued. Below the surface you typically find:
The direct and indirect contri­butions from people outside the team – by the extended team, stakeh­olders and external contri­butors.
Other kinds of broader and ad hoc collab­oration (social collab­ora­tion) than those that fit within the tradit­ional definition of (struc­tured, team-b­ased) collab­ora­tion.
The ongoing community building that makes people trust each other and commit themselves to a shared purpose.
The efforts of gaining the workspace awareness that is necessary for making the right decisions in any collab­orative effort.

Bring Layers Above the Surface

Bring those above the surface so they can be recognized and supported.
If people can't do those things, even the tradit­ional collab­oration efforts will suffer or might not even happen.
If we are to improve efficiency and effect­iveness of collab­orative efforts, we need to better support these layers.

The first step towards improving these layers of collab­oration and support other kinds of collab­oration is to recognize their existence and value.

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