CollaborAction Items

The Co-ignite Collaborative Blog
Tags » diversity
  • Competition or Collaboration?

    on Aug 07, 2011
    Tagged in: teams, learning, leadership, diversity, collaboration

     It’s useful to know the game we’re playing, and the rules that govern play. Sometimes we can be playing several games with the same people at the same time. We may be winning at one game, but we're losing at a more important one.

    I remember being in a pick-up basketball game in high school, and having a good time, until I got an elbow hit to the nose. I had to walk around with a bandage over it for the next couple of months. I was surprised to discover an unanticipated benefit, though. The school’s star quarterback had gotten his nose broken about the same time, and suddenly girls started to notice me, probably thinking I was him, or at least associating my injury with his.

    I wouldn’t want to get my nose broken again, though, just to get girls’ attention. But looking back at the incident, I had been a problematic opposing player, and the elbow to my nose had taken me out of the game, and out of the way.

    So there were two games going on--competitive basketball between two teams was one. Getting rid of problematic opposing players was another game. This wasn’t part of the rules of the first game, though winning at the second game improved the first game for their side. Becoming attractive to the opposite sex was a third, mostly unspoken game, at which I had a painful but lucky break.

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  • Social Networking – Size Isn’t Enough

    Jeff Young

    This past week I saw a story on my computer that Facebook celebrated reaching 500 million users.  What huge accomplishment in this new and exciting world of social networking.  As a society and as a world we are much more connected with each other than ever before in human history.  

    We instantly send messages to each other, find schoolmates we haven’t seen in decades, share our vacations, our triumphs, and our dazzling moments with our children.  As a parent, I keep up to date with my grown children easier than any generation before me.   I share and participate in what is going on in their lives without them even having to call their parents or feel guilty because they didn’t.  This is really cool!

    Last week I also attended an eye opening presentation where people were sharing their latest ideas of how we can bring innovation to social issues.  What I saw was an exciting portfolio of ideas on how to leverage the same social media and Facebook-like technology to make a difference in our communities.  But, as I listened, I was struck by the image of each of us sitting behind our own computer or cell phone chatting by text to one another.  In this image we are isolated behind a veil of technology telling unseen others about the actions we are individually taking to make a difference in each other’s lives.  It seemed sadly ironic to me and I was left with an empty and hollow feeling of being alone; a feeling similar to how my home now feels with my daughters both grown and our dog of 16 years permanently sleeping under our peach tree as I sit and write this post to unseen readers I have never met.  Is this really the kind of connection we need?

    Where Are WE?

    As a family we used to gather around our dinner table every evening and share who we were and what we cared about.  We listened and supported each other.  We laughed and we cried together.  We cared about each other’s success and we supported and consoled each other in our disappointments.  We got angry and we made up.  We often shared family hugs that even the dog understood was special, leaping up on hind legs – reaching to be part of the tangle of warm arms and legs.  Wherever we were in our travels, or our journey, whatever we were becoming in our lives, we were a We – not just a collection of individuals.

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