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Collaboration doesn’t happen in a vacuum – be intentional and contribute

As the featured image suggests, this is a thought rocket, some sensemaking on the fly – essentially some quick thoughts on a recent development, announcement, etc.

One thing comes up repeatedly from customers in my business (which is to make them successful with productivity software) – they blame the tools before themselves. That stands to reason, who wants to look to themselves for blame. But I am astounded sometimes by the naivety and logic. And its not as if virtual collaboration is new, its been happening for at least the last two decades.

I mean, they expect that when they set up a collaboration space (a Microsoft Team for example), that others will immediately start collaborating with them and contributing to their project. When that doesn’t happen, they blame to the tool. In this post, let me dispel simply, the misconception that collaboration can happen in a vacuum.


  1. You’ve got to have a clear purpose and make that clear to the people you want help from or they are lost before they are even out of the starting blocks.
  2. Signpost – you have to show them what to do to get them started and how to do it, at least until they are up and running.
  3. You’ve got to encourage or nudge them along the way because they will probably get discouraged, or lose their way, or get distracted – you get the point.


  1. Aside from doing all of the good things above, you cannot just otherwise sit back – you have to muck in.
  2. The best way to contribute is to lead by example – display the best collaborative behaviours you want others to as well.
  3. Always be closing (this is not just for sales people) by trying to draw conclusions from collaborative efforts so you can move your project and members to the next level.

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