Twesigye Jackson Kaguri recently published a piece on the Huffington Post’s The Blog in which he explores if collaboration is a forgotten word – or if it is currently just overshadowed by competition. I’d have to agree with him that it’s the latter. Collaboration is all around us, but perhaps we just see the competition instead because it’s loud, insistent and makes you annoyed. It’s that one thing in your car that rattles around and demands all your focus, while the rest of the machine works in harmony. When the whole thing collaborates, you can focus on the process of driving and getting to your destination. A smoothly working machine fades into the background of your consciousness as you instead focus on the task to be performed.
Kaguri mentions the notion of the unconference, which sounds very much like what moves the UnSectored community – a contributing partner with Collaborator Magazine. Rather than insist on the supremacy of unique positions and perspectives and demanding others to fit with them, the unconference and UnSectored help participants lower their walls and start talking with others, rather than at others.
Notice the “Un-” in both names. Deconstructing the rigid frameworks we’ve created in our own discourse and practice is a crucial step toward establishing more comprehensive collaborative relationships. In a way, these ideas are defined by what they are attempting not to be. But we can’t stop there. The next step has be to define what we do want to be and then to begin constructing and collaborating toward that goal.