A month ago I wrote a long post about collaboration, and in it I said:
Collaboration takes place when you do what you are good at, and when you let other people do what they are good at.
Sometimes I wonder whether we as knowledge workers have learnt this. Somehow I don’t think so. Over the last thirty years, working primarily in service industries, working solely as a knowledge worker, I see something different.
I see people unable to respect the skills of others. Of wanting to be all things to all men.
Today, reading Andrew McAfee (a regular and recommended read, I’ve known Andrew for some time now), I saw this:
“They can learn to listen. Listening to each other is core to our culture, and we don’t listen to each other just because we’re all so smart. We listen because everyone has good ideas, and because it’s a great way to show respect. And any company, at any point in its history, can start listening more.”
That was Eric Schmidt answering Andy’s question on what other companies and managers can learn from Google.
They can learn to listen……because it’s a great way to show respect.
I couldn’t agree more. The secret sauce of collaboration in five words. Or a baker’s dozen if you want the expanded form.
Thanks Andy, and thank you Eric Schmidt.